Marquee madness

I was having lunch with the girls and could barely concentrate on the conversation. I’d chosen a seat that looked straight out the window, in direct line of the restaurant’s marquee. Big whoop, right? You read the marquee in 3/4ths of a second and your brain moves right back to the conversation. 

Uh, not so much.

Not for me.

See, I used to be an editor. My eyes are specially trained to spot mistakes — in type, on marquees, in people. I can’t turn it off; it’s like my superpower except not as useful as being able to say, leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Once I find a mistake, I’m like a dog with a bone. It bugs me –a lot–if the mistake goes uncorrected.

Of course I had to tell the waiter, and he looked at me like, “So?” To say that he was unconcerned with the marquee containing a spelling mistake would be quite the understatement.

So I did what I had to do — called in the manager.

He was a teeny bit more concerned than the waiter, but only because he wanted me to shut up and leave him alone. Clearly. But I told him that it was bad press to have a marquee mistake, and that it connoted sloppiness that just might permeate his entire operation. His ears pricked up a bit at that, but I’m not sure if it was the message or the overload of syllables that got his attention.

He tried to tell me that they were out of “E’s” and I told him that’s no excuse. Flip over a 3 to create one. Or, even better, delete the “D” and the question mark and go from an interrogative to a declarative sentence.

I ended the grammar lesson by telling him to get the ladder, man!

And he did.

Guess this guy drew the short straw and has to climb the ladder. Or maybe he won and gets to get out of the greasy kitchen and breathe some fresh air. While the boss man breathes down his neck, that is.

He’s on a very important mission (but he probably doesn’t know it). Actually, it’s a double mission: correct the error and shut the bossy lady up. 

What’s next, boss?

Boss man has the offending “D” in his hand, so now ladder boy needs to lose the question mark.

And away it goes….

All done and back to the greasy kitchen. School’s out.

That’s SO much better!

14 Comments on “Marquee madness”

  1. David Benbow says:

    I also have an eye for typos, but am a tad more tolerant. I’d have made YOU climb the ladder.

  2. Eddie says:

    All hail Correcta, queen of the copy editors! Why no exclamation point? Make your declarative an imperative today. I suddenly feel like singing the adverb song from Schoolhouse Rock. I would have mocked the sign and moved on, kudos to you for making things happen.

  3. Seriously? I enjoy reading your blog on occasion, but this is ridiculous. You might have to learn the principle of “pick your battles”. So glad I’m not in your head. You made them grab the ladder? That’s just obnoxious…not to be celebrated. You are a pretentious snob…I would have asked you to leave.

    • Trevor Hicks says:

      I was definitely rolling my eyes and shaking my head when Nancy told me this story. But I wouldn’t describe her as either pretentious or snobby. Maybe more peculiarly obsessed and unusually willing to express her opinions about what most of us might consider none of our business. Both of which add up to an amusing story in my opinion.

    • A pretentious snob, huh? Nice judgment considering I’ve never met you or even spoken to you. If you weren’t so busy judging you might have noticed the sarcasm. Or maybe you’re just not that bright. I know well the principle of picking my battles, and I’m exercising it right now.

      • You’re so right. I have no right to be critical of you. I am sorry. I don’t know why this post so affected me. Whatever the reason, I should have kept it to myself. Too bad that my mom’s passed on. She would have enjoyed reminding me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” Again, my apologies.

  4. Christy says:

    Pretentious snob??????? WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY????

    I’m a former English teacher who would have done the exact same thing. Knowing Nancy as well as I do, I KNOW that she didn’t MAKE them get the ladder and secondly, she was probably trying to help them to not look stupid. Ever think of that????

    Why don’t you read every blog and note the joking tone and sarcasm in most of them? You don’t know Nancy at all…so, go away!

  5. Nellie says:

    Pretentious snob? Because you know how to SPELL?

    This is awesome! You totally improved their sign. Now they don’t look like idiots. They should have paid for your lunch.

    I have the same super-power, by the way. My kids complain about having to play “find the typo” when we go out to dinner and get our menus.

  6. Amy Pace says:

    Well Sara, everyone has the right to a bad day:) Nancy is a great lady and is pretty entertaining to be around! Most people appreciate the honesty it takes to point out a mistake! I think it is great that the manager took in the advice and acted on it! Be careful about that name calling….. that will get you no where:) As Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” I think this Cancer Journey has taught us all to grab life and live it to its fullest. I appreciate Nancy’s honesty and frankness about life:)

  7. julie says:

    Nancy K- You know you’re my favorite grammar/editor weirdos–and you never make me feel dumb or dumb-mer for my grammatical goofs!!!!
    Sarah K- I commend you on your apology. It might behoove you know that I was at the lunch and Nancy handled it in a good-humored, helpful kinda way. Actually, there was a suburban parked under the sign when Nancy first noticed the mistake and there was serious discussion about climbing onto the car to fix the sign ourselves! Love my fun friends! Good times!

  8. Patti Ross says:

    So much chatter about correcting spelling and sentence structure?! I love it! I am a former English teacher and watch for these sorts of problems myself, used to give extra credit to students when they would bring in such problems they stumbled upon, and attempt to get corrections made but with little success. I appreciate the memories this post brought back for me and marvel at the discussion. I think I am going to reread “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves,” a great reminder that there are many of us for whom punctuation (and spelling and such) is very important. Have a good day!

  9. Amy H. says:

    As a “Marquee Mama” I can tell you the angst I’ve been through standing back and looking at my marquee and knowing that something “just doesn’t look right” but not being able to tell what it is. Nothing like misspelling a word on a SCHOOL’s marquee! And I’ve done it–twice that I know of in all the years I did the marquee! Thankfully other “Nancys” in my life have called the school and pointed out my mistakes! And I’ve scrambled back up there to change it, and quickly! At least those guys had the “we’re out of E’s excuse.” There were no excuses for mine!

    I’ll never forget my brother going out on a date and after the date commenting on the girl he went out with, “Man, That girl was D-U-M, dumb!” If you didn’t know my brother, you may have thought when first glancing at him that he didn’t know how to spell but the statement actually emphasized how dumb the girl was because of the WAY he emphasized the wrong spelling in his description of the date. CLASSIC. That’s how Sara’s comments struck me.

    As for Sara, I’m sorry this post rubbed you the wrong way. But, like Julie said, you get points for your apology. Your comments made me think of that saying, “When you point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

  10. Jan Hasak says:

    That’s very funny! My son would have picked up on that one right away. He loves the “Selling It’ section of Consumer Reports with all the bloopers. He used to work for a newspaper as a proofreader and I loved some of the stories he told.

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