1. I thought the humor was the misplacement of a bumper sticker saying that simply wouldn’t work on a protest poster … replace with “My son is an honor student at Covid High” or “Baby on Board” or “My Other Car is a Porsche” or “My Baby Daddy Was Inmate of the Month at Corona Prison”. You are simply making it funnier … there is no value to a sign that is difficult to read complaining about people getting closer to reading it either.

  2. @ B.A. – The font size is precisely the point. He wants people to stay even farther away, so he kept the letters big.

  3. Kilby, wouldn’t the large font have made more sense in a NON-Coronavirus world? In fact, I think I HAVE seen this gag before.

    In the age of social distancing, with actual guidelines in place, the oversized font just muddles the gag.

  4. I think this worked OK, but I like this xkcd better:

    BTW, for those who don’t know, as Catlover alluded to, “If you can read this, you’re too close,” or “If you can read this, stop tailgaiting,” is a common bumper sticker.

  5. For anti-tailgating bumper sticker I prefer, “The closer you come, the slower I drive”.

  6. Has anybody tried coughing a lot when someone gets too close? I have a sinus condition that tickles my throat, so I cough all the time. People give me lots of space.

  7. A very old “If you can read this, you’re too close” joke, back when putting the sign on trucks was a new thing and women wore nylon stockings.

    A woman brought a pair of stockings to an embroiderer and said, “I saw something on a truck and I want it embroidered on my stockings. ‘If you can read this, you’re too close.'”

    “How do you want that done? Block letters? Script? Italic?”


  8. Reminds of old joke about “Why do flappers wear black stockings?” In memory of those who have passed beyond.

    Badda-bing. Oh, you kie!

  9. I went for a walk today. In the 4 miles or so, one person I saw was wearing a mask. (I was, but I couldn’t really see myself.)

    She was wearing it wrong (not covering her nose), making it useless.

  10. The funniest bumper sticker I’ve seen (and the funniest part of it was my sister and me) – a sticker on a Jeep saying “If you can read this, turn me over”. It took us several minutes and much puzzlement to realize it was printed upside down – both of us can read upside down almost as easily as right side up (comes of sharing the Sunday funnies as kids!).

  11. I get you on that, jimcgaffey! I watched a skywriter above the football stadium as Michigan hosted Connecticut. Slowly, the letter W appeared – what the ??? Definitely not for *M*ichigan, not for *C*onnecticut. It took me far too long to realize I was south of the stadium! Rotate 180 degrees, et voila. W Go Blue!

  12. There’s a slightly racy joke about confusion between W and turned M from the imprint of a letter-sweater. But I can’t get the setup right, so will leave to you to provide it for yourselves 😏

  13. Carl Fink, even if the mask didn’t cover her nose, it still kept contained whatever would fly out on a cough, right?

  14. There are face masks being sold made of fabric printed with images of male genitalia. The idea is that if you can see what they are, you’re too close.

    (Did we already do this? If so, apologies!)

  15. The number of people I’ve seen wearing masks incorrectly makes me appreciate the early advice to not wear them. It’s not just that they won’t do any good if you’re wearing them around your chin. It’s that if you do decide to pull them up, you’ve just touched your face. I have made a couple of non-medical masks, but without handwashing stations outside the store, there’s really no way to put them on. (One local store is requesting that you wear a mask, but I doubt that they’ve provided a way to put them masks on. On the other hand, that’s a store that wearing a mask is a really good idea.)

  16. In normal times, that’s exactly what I feel about bicycle helmets, especially the mandatory on children ones — I have rarely, if ever seen a child wearing a helmet properly such that it would mitigate rather than exacerbate any potential injury. Frankly, most of the kids would be better off without them the way they wear them…

  17. Could it be purely pragmatic? If this is a newspaper strip, it will fairly small when printed. That could render really small type illegible for the geezers who still get the paper.

    The last time I was out shopping, every place I went for groceries (big supermarket and smaller neighbourhood drugstores that have a small grocery section) had hand sanitizer at the entrance for you to use. So you can come shop here if you like. 🙂 Haven’t had to go out for a month, though. We have some rolling online grocery orders (one comes, another in two weeks) and a friend has taken it on himself to bring us groceries whenever he goes shopping. About once a week. I appreciate it, but he has enough risk factors himself that he should probably stay at home, but I know he’s not going to do that. But I also know he is being cautious.

  18. A local chain grocery store has a hand-washing station outside. Now that’s a way to convince people come shop there, forget the “well, here’s hand sanitizer, so you can use it I guess.” (I also intend to wear an improvised mask when I’m next there, because if they’re going to give me the ability to do so, I will take advantage of it.)

  19. Christine, can’t you just put your mask on before you leave your house to the grocery store?

  20. While I do live in the downtown core, the two closest stores to me have deficiencies that make me unwilling to use them exclusively. The store that requests a mask is 1.7km, the one with handwashing is 2.1, but they both have giant hills on the route there, and I don’t really have a non-bike option (technically it counts as essential travel so I could bus, but given that I have other options I’d rather not). We have to pay the 8-year-old to “babysit” the 3-year-old so that I can shop with my husband is working, so I need to be as fast as possible (hence the bike), and with a family of four I need the trailer so I can load up (yes, I know, I should have better cargo options. We never got around to it. But hey, at least now we’ve solved the dilemma of “will the trailer be big enough for the 3-year-old all summer”)

    Between me being in bad shape (and let’s face it, being overweight means that much more mass to drag uphill, the extra drag from the trailer and the giant hill, I’d be puffing and panting. While I’m sure if I make a lighter mask I’ll be able to breathe well enough (pro tip: flannelette between two layers of quilting cotton might filter well, but it’s incredibly hot and humid inside), I’d be worried that it would get damp by the time I arrived at the store.

    Given that the authors of the OG study on cloth masks theorized that the masks getting damp was why the wing of the hospital using fabric masks had not only more infections than where they used disposable ones, but more infections than the control (no mask) wing, I rather suspect that a damp mask is literally worse than nothing.

  21. When last we shopped for food – March 26 – it was still when they saying not to wear a mask. That was followed by our last trip to the post office to pick up mail from our PO Box on March 29, Sunday, at 11 pm (on the logic that the fewest people had been in the PO for the longest time). Since then, with 3 exceptions, I go out Tues, Thurs, & Saturday through our side porch to our mail box at our front door and take in the mail using a plastic sandwich bag as a glove (cheaper and we have more of them than we do disposable gloves and I have small hands), I put the mail in a plastic zip bag and in the porch on the way back I spray Lysol in the bag. The mail then sits, sealed in the bag, for a week before I am allowed to open it and shred the mail as most of our real mail goes to our box. On the same days he goes out and starts and our car, van, and little RV. We did take a walk last weekend for excitement – too many people where we were walking, so we came right home. Our biggest two trips out since the end of March was when the car did not start one Thursday – battery went bad (7 yrs old). One of the mechanics we use came and jumped the car, we drove it there (4 blocks) and walked home. Took our van at night to pick it up after paying with charge card on phone and waiting until 11 pm to go and get it.

    I kept saying that I had to make masks for us once it became mandatory (highly suggested?) and putting it off. Guess what I did that Thursday night after we found the car did not start? Used fabric intended for reenacting clothing (I know same is cotton, my other fabric I don’t worry about fabric content and might be poly/cotton) – fabric from a shift (underwear dress) I made for Robert’s niece when she wanted to join us at a reenactment. I put yellow flannel that he bought along with other colors) for some purses he was going to make and sell years ago between the two layers. None of the mechanics had masks of course and I felt like an idiot – but we are both over 65 and both have several medical conditions on the list of problems.

    We will have to at some point go out for food again – amazing how long food last if one cuts back to 2/3 or 1/2 of what one normally eats and it is amazing what is in the back of a pantry closet. (Could live for a month just on the popcorn for popping we found.) He has looked into ordering food a few times and there seems to be a standard 6 week wait for a time slot. Also coming up with some interesting recipes – made fried eggs with brown sugar on them – pretty good, Instant mashed potatoes without any milk – much better if some gravy on it, and matzoh works well with peanut butter for a lunch sandwich to save on using bread. Much more likely – we have 2 weeks left of one of his meds and 3 weeks of another med that we each take and Walmart stores/pharmacies do not deliver here -nearest store delivering is in New Jersey!

    Currently making a second set of masks – with a third piece of cotton instead of the flannel in the middle as the other was a bit heavy to breathe through.

  22. A week for mail is overkill, 24 hours should render it safe.

    But you just touched on something that I spent ages researching and would love to share about! So the thing with masks is that, no matter how well they filter, they only work if you breathe through them. I made my first duckbill mask with flannellette between two layers of quilting cotton (because both quilting cotton and interlining of flannellette have good rankings by most people doing testing. However, I suspect that the second one I made (it was too warm and leaked too much because it was hard to breathe through) is actually better at filtering, because more air goes through the mask and therefore it leaks less. And how much a mask leaks is such a huge factor for how effective it is (that’s why there’s such an involved test for N95 fitting). (Now, depending on what kind of chemise you’re talking about a layer of inter-lining may be called for, because it’s less effective of course.) But I even suspect my mask may be offering *me* some protection. (Which, of course, is why the government is still so iffy on people wearing them – the amount of care needed for physical distancing really is easier to do if you’re somewhat on edge, so people feeling safer may make us less safe.)

  23. Christine – if it makes him feel better to let the mail sit a week – I let it sit a week – I know it is overkill.

    By chemise I presume that you are referring to the shift I mentioned. In the 18th century they were called shifts by the English and so we call them same as we portray English colonists, They might have been called a chemise by the French. Same as in period the support undergarment for the top of women is called “stays” or “a set of stays”by the English and “corsets” by the French. They are nothing like what we think corsets look like as they have a flat front not the cupped top of the front we think of today as a corset. (As I say sometimes ‘They do help what needs to stay in place to do so.”) My stays are actually more comfortable than my modern bra (and the most expensive piece of clothing I have ever bought other than my wedding gown.)

  24. Sorry about the shift/chemise mix-up. I dabble at a level where I should know better, but so much of what I consume is intended for people with even less knowledge than I have that they use shift/chemise together, so that people who know only one or the other won’t get confused. Does the fact that it’s of an era (and therefore style) where it’s firmly a shift imply anything about the weight of the fabric used? (To give an example of what I don’t know – I hadn’t known that “corset” was of French origin or, obviously, that the word existed in the 18th century.) As much as your stays are obviously more comfortable than a modern bra, I still think that a split busk would be a nice thing to have. Once I am in a position to make myself some, I’m going to try and do a completely ahistorical travesty, with the comfort of 18th century stays, but the convenience of a split busk.

  25. Christine – not upset at the mixup. It does not reflect the weight of the fabric. They are generally linen (linen being cheaper than cotton in 18th century) but can be silk if one has “the pocket” for same. Mine are cotton as linen now costs more and only the sleeves to mine are seen anyway and that only if I fold up from jacket sleeves to keep them clean or dry when doing something. My stays – the second set – lace up front and back as the first set only laced up the back and Robert never time to lace and tie them for me as it takes him longer to dress than it takes me. (There were no front only lacing stays from what is still around.)

    Biggest problem with the stays is that one has to sort of do what was called in the 1960s “the Bunny dip” as Playboy did instead of bending over when they were serving drinks – in their case due to their cleavage, in my case because bending at the waist would bend the stays and is not easy to do. I also find that my alter self – Anne Everyman (Everamond) does not show up unless I am wearing the stays – and she has a different manner of speaking, a different pitch than I do and says fewer modern terms than I do. Darn – our unit’s webpage had a good photo of me in my “period dress” but it is no longer there – I will complain to the webmaster – Robert. I am in a photo on the first page of photos – second photo down on right side in brown jacket with navy jacket and light blue apron. Further down that page I am threading a needle in a brown jacket with striped apron – the woman next to me is more properly dressed in a day gown, I am in clothing of the lower middling sorts or below or working clothing. I am also in some photos on the last page I will also mention I have lost about 80 lbs since the photos. Third row from the bottom, right, Robert is running a children’s drill. If the address goes through – http://www.huntingtonmilitia.com/photo-gallery.html

    Why was cotton cheaper than linen back then? Cotton was not really grown in the American colonies until the invention of the cotton gin after the period. Cotton fabric had come from India – through GB to the colonies and was taxed on each leg of the trip. Calico is short for Calcutta Cotton on business papers.

  26. Thanks, Meryl, I had no idea about the origin of the term calico, but have long used the name of calico cats for the tri-color cats with pattern of patches, after the cloth.

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