Other Stuff – Lifes

Taking a picture in a public restroom is not something I do everyday. That’s one of the amazing things about life. Anything can happen.

Recently I was in a bathroom at a Firestone Tire store. Inside the bathroom, hanging on the wall, was what you see in the picture below.

Normally, in this setting, you would expect a picture of a tire. Maybe a chart explaining tread depth. Maybe a calendar from a local funeral parlor. Maybe a picture of Nascar racing legend Richard Petty wearing his STUPID HAT, FEATHERS, AND SUNGLASSES! But, certainly not a pithy saying.

Secondly, unless they recently changed what the letter V looks like, that should be “lives”, right? Also, doesn’t the letter “e” look like it’s falling backwards? The “H” bothers me too.

Now I did something I don’t think I have EVER done in a restroom, public or residential. I took the picture down to see where it was made. It was stamped, MADE IN CHINA. Also, the word SLOTW was there.

Now, it makes more sense. If I was working in an American Pithy Framed Sayings Factory, and I was in charge of proof-reading the Framed Pithy Sayings, and I pulled out my English to Chinese Dictionary, and I looked up the Chinese character “shenghuo”, it would come up as “life” or “live.” There are not two separate characters for that word. Mystery solved.

But, even if the American Pithy Sayings Inspector (or the APSI) inserted the correct word, “lives”, we would still have a problem.

I assume this saying is taken from the famous (by famous I mean most people have never heard of it) quote by Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Dillard. Her quote is “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”

This saying suffers from the “duh!” factor. Or the “Ya think?” factor. We could just as succinctly say, “How we inhale and exhale, is of course, how we breathe.” Or, “How we walk and talk, is of course, how we talk and walk.” Or perhaps, “How we say ‘How we’, is of course, how we say ‘How we.’

So thank you Mr. APSI. You took a saying, which is, how shall I say this delicately, STUPID, and gave me a good laugh. Or should I say lafe? Lave? Slotw?


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