Sign Off San Diego   Leave a comment


UCSD is supposed to be a pretty good school. We might then expect the people who dictate the signage would pay close attention to the messages they post for all to see. This was most likely not the case for our first example, which a couple friends pointed out to me.

If you look at the latter half of the last line on this sign, you’ll deduce the logical pratfall. “24/7 M-F”. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, M-F. Assuming M-F doesn’t stand for “Mother-Fuckers” and instead stands for “Monday-Friday” in accordance with UCSD’s free weekend parking policy, we are faced with a mathematical impossibility. You can’t shove 24/7 into Monday-Friday, anyway you want to slice it, UCSD Parking and Transportation.

Putting “5” stickers over the 7s (which has since occurred) doesn’t quite remedy the situation because 24/5 is not a well-known colloquialism and will probably confuse parkers. It just doesn’t trigger a familiar concept the way 24/7 does and lacks the phonetic grace supplied by the 7 in “24/7”. With a good lawyer, you could probably get out of a parking ticket for parking there any time due to “M-F” not being specified and the unprecedented meaning of “24/5” ringing hollow. Way to go, UCSD Parking and Transportation, you may very well end up on failblog.

The image below depicts my next favorite sign at UCSD.
The red rectangular sign bolted to the sternum-height entrance of this this aluminum shed reads:
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
OFFICE OF THE DEAN
This tool shed, which may not be a bad description of an administrative office but is here meant in a literal sense, is not taller than me and not thicker than a couple pillow cases. There’s a lock on the door, but I’m sure it’s nothing a nice grunt-fueled kick couldn’t pick.

Clearly, this is not the dean’s office, but its contents have been allocated to that administration. Or maybe it contains super soldier fetuses and that’s what that Scotch taped “Caution” sign is warning us about. The bold red fill color and capital lettering make a proud declaration of what this tin shell is, or at least who it belongs to and it’s certainly made an impression on me.

This sign, posted high inside the bus,  doesn’t elude to a prestigious office or contain a mathematical error, but is puzzling to me, nonetheless.

It’s very difficult to see, I didn’t take a very good picture while the bus was moving, but I’m sure you can make out “No Smoking”, “No Radio or Tape Playing”, and “No Eating or Drinking”, and the circular negating symbols make that quite clear. What you can’t see are the penalties assessable to a passenger who pays no heed to these prohibitions, the tiny bottom text. I get bored on the bus and like to read labels, so I took a closer look at the punishments. From right to left: eating or drinking on the bus will earn you a $1000 fine or 6 months in jail, the same sanctions hold for radio or tape playing, and smoking on the bus will land you a $10-$100 fine. Wait, what?

You are 10 to 100 times less liable for smoking on the bus than for eating, drinking, radio or tape playing. And there’s no possibility of jail time, but if you’re munching on some Cheetos, that can be a $1000 snack or possibly a half a year in jail with no Cheetos at all. I have no idea who makes these laws, tobacco execs maybe, but I couldn’t believe the maximum penalty for smoking on a bus, which will surely irritate everybody and potentially harm others’ health, is only worth one tenth the punishment of enjoying a cheeseburger or injecting a little harmless noise pollution. Guess I’ll stick to headphones and a stick of gum on the bus.

If I find more concerning signs on campus, I’ll be sure to add them, but I only have these three for now. In the meantime, if you’re ever in Gilman parking Structure, I encourage you to peel the “5” stickers off the 24/7s- the sign should be read as it was intended. I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to deface a sign declaring an enforceable penalty anyways, so by removing the 5s, you’re undoing a crime and injustice perpetrated by UCSD Parking and Transportation.

Tritonthink, signing off.

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Posted April 5, 2010 by Wada in UCSD

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