You know, I’m not so sure this is exactly what Punxsutawney Phil had in mind when he predicted an early spring on Tuesday. Yesterday I was driving about and I passed a restaurant whose marquee proclaimed “Patio Open!” Indeed it was a warmish day but it is still February and I was driving north of the Mason Dixon Line. I had a look at the patio as I motored past it. Those chairs were metal! I don’t care if it is a warmish February, if you are sitting out there you will have a less than warmish behind.

It made me wonder, was that restaurant really ready to relegate patrons to the refrigerator? Or perhaps had the owner not updated the signage since last April? It’s been known to happen that not everybody stays as up to date as one might. I offer these observations.

The local mega-market adjusted its hours last year. I recall when the signs went up. One sign in particular. “The Beer Department will close at 9pm effective January 20, 2015.” After more than a year it’s time to retire that sign.

The corner fruit market has two signs in the window proclaiming its operating hours. One is headed “Summer Hours” and the other “Winter Hours.” There is no notice of when each becomes effective, or for the half-empty crowd, is no longer valid.

Hanging on the door to my doctor’s office is a sign reading, “Effective July 1, all billing will be handled by XYZ specialists.” Does that mean they are giving patients a very long notice or that they have forgotten to take it down?

And let us not forget the cheery voice every time you try to call bank, insurance company, hospital, auto mechanic, or piano teacher, who has greeted callers with, “Please listen carefully as our menu items have changed,” since 1996.

Expiration dates shouldn’t be just for milk.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?



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