This is a list of some of the absolutely weirdest stuff I've come across in a long time. You know the sort, those gaffes that make you roll your eyes, and either drop your jaw or put on an expression of total disbelief and go: "I mean, like DUH!"
The ones here have been pilfered from various sources. I apologize for not acknowledging them, but it is rather difficult when they come from all over the place. Just stating that I did NOT discover them all myself (so as not to get sued....)
Here they go:
Butcher in Israel: "I slaughter myself twice daily."
Clothier in Brussels: "Mourning and sportswear."
Clothier in Budapest: "Very smart! Almost pansy!"
Clothier in Paris: "Dresses for street walking."
Restaurant in Algericas: "Revolting eggs." (This is a literal translation of huevos revueltos, Spanish for scrambled eggs.)
Barber in Zanzibar: "Gentlemen's throats cut with nice sharp razors."
Travel agency in Barcelona: "Go away."
Hotel in Moscow: "If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it."
At entrance to Seville cathedral: "It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man."
Restaurantes des Artistes, Montmartre: "We serve five o' clock tea at all hours."
Invitation in a bedroom in Hotel California, Rio de Janeiro: "Visit the hairdresser in the Sub Soil of this Hotel."
Notice on table in dining room of Columbo hotel: "All vegetables in this establishment have been washed in water especially passed by the management."
Paris hotel: "A sports jacket may be worn to dinner, but not trousers."
Notice on wagon-lit in India: "Do not invite thieves to sleep in the floor."
Pool in Columbo, Sri Lanka: "Do not use the diving board when the swimming pool is empty."
Letter from IBM: "This is to verify your address so that we will not send the cheque to the wrong address. If you receive this letter, you do not have to do anything. If you do not receive this letter, please call the number above."
US Air Force spokesman explaining why they paid $1000 for a pair of pliers: "They're multipurpose. Not only do they put the clips on, but they also take them off."
Instructions for alarm clock bought in Hong Kong: "To set alarm set alarm hand to time desired to wake. To change time desired to wake, reset alarm to the time desired to."
Brochure of hotel in Kuantan: "Lobby shop: Found in the lobby."
DJ:: "Coming up next is a CD review, in which I will review a CD."
Geography presenter: "Gorges are deep and narrow *pause* If you look at this gorge you will notice it is *long pause* deep, and it is *really long pause* narrow."(pauses indicate the speaker trying to think of a better word, but obviously failing.)
Yogi Berra: "I really didn't say everything I said."
Dale Berra: "The similarities between me and my father are different."
Potential US ambassador being asked his opinion on the North Korea-South Korea conflict:
"You mean there are two Koreas?"
DJ after the 1990 California earthquake: "The telephone company is urging people to please not use the telephone in order to keep the lines open for emergency personnel.... We'll be right back to give away a pair of Phil Collins concert tickets to caller No. 95.
Hotel in Bucharest: "The lift is being fixed for the next four days. During this time you will be unbearable.
Hotel del Paseo, Mexico City: "We sorry to advise you that by an electric desperfect in the generator master of the elevator we have the necessity that don't give service at our distinguishable guests."
Hotel Deutschland, Leipzig: "Do not enter the lift backwards and only when lit up."
Elevator sign in Brisbane: "If you wish to go up, press the button marked 'up'. If you wish to go down, press the button marked 'down'."
Notice on elevator doors in Tokyo hotel: "Do Not Open Door Until Door Opens First."
Slavjia Hotel, Belgrade: "Let us know about any inficiency as well as leaking on the service."
Hotel in Athens: "Visitors are expected to complain at the office from 9 to 11 a.m. daily."
Hotel in Tokyo: "Is forbidden to steal towels, please. If you are not person to do such, please not to read notice."
Hotel on Gaspé Peninsula: "No dancing in the bathrooms!"
Spanish hotel: "The provision of a large French widow in every apartment adds to the visitor's amenities."
Fujia Hotel, Miyanoshita: "We now have a Sukiyaki Restaurant with lodging facilities for those who want to have experiences on Japanese bedding."
Hospital in Barcelona: "Visitors two to a bed and half an hour only."
Elevator sign in Tokyo: "Keep your hands away from unnecessary buttons for you."
Hotel in Torremolinos: "We highly recommend the hotel tart."
Rex Hotel, Havana: "Guests are prohibited from walking around in the lobby in large groups in the nude."
Hotel Washington, Colón: "Because of the impropriety of entertaining persons of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is requested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
The Grand Palais Hotel, Ostend, issues to players on its miniature golf course a card of "recommandation" (sic).
Number 2 requests them to "Level with the feet holes or mound do by playing on the game." We take this to mean "Pleace replace divots."
Number 4, however, eludes us completely: "No working players are invited to stay on the stony mat." Well?
Hotel Principe Alfonso, Palma de Mallorca: "Every Sunday very greay kocks fights at Ca'n Veta jurt in front of the ancient rase horces."
Palma also offers the tourist a leaflet advertising the Caves of Arta, and commending their "suporizing infinity of graceful collumns of 21 meter and by downward, wich prives the spectator of all anaimexion and plunges in dumbness."
Cabin-door notice on Spanish ship: "Help savering apparata. In emergins behold many whistles! Associate the stringing apparata about the bosoms and meet behind. Flee then to the indifferent lifesaveringshippen obediencing the instructs of the vessel!"
Tag on lamp for sale in Estoril: "The present lamp is a reply of the used's in almost every's the province from Portugal, among the century XVII-XIX even a usage in some recondite's and old village's. Wholesome to illumination to middle by oil; the that empty of & deposit, and immediately kindle the wick's. The pincer, bucket, etc., from some, sound towards clean the wick's of the burning."
This is my absolute favourite. It's from The Motorist's Weekend Book, whose editor says only that "it is an extract from 'regulations for a foreign motoring event, kindly translated by the organizers for the benefit of English entrants." It's a real lulu!
"Competitors will defile themselves on the promenade at 11 a.m. and each car will have two drivers who will relieve themselves at each other's conveniences."
Back to the main page