Last week, NolaVie photo-documented New Orleanians’ eccentric means of conveying that their driveways, stoops, and backyards are, in fact, private property. Embellishments ranged from “no peeing” in the (read: PRIVATE) driveway to a non-verbal, yet exceedingly clear “Do Not Enter” message, consisting of a mannequin head boldly placed atop a spiked gate-top.
Like our residents, local merchants display offbeat sets of oddly specific store policies. And, in all fairness, in a city where both locals’ and visitors’ behaviors often vacillate between near vertices of weird and really weird, it doesn’t necessarily hurt to indicate that you don’t want criers frequenting your establishment. While some of the policy signs are exceedingly detailed, others are near content-less. Regardless of how informative the signs are, they all contain subtextual content that may tell us a little about the merchant(s).
What we initially think: So, you work hard, play harder. Join the rest of the city.
Subtext: If we aren’t here and you know where we personally reside, feel free to swing by with Advil, an omelet from Camelia, some Gatorade, and the password to your Netflix account.
What we initially think: I guess I’ll check my snarky mood at the door.
Subtext: Don’t you underestimate the wrath of a pissed-off fairy.
What we initially think: Safety first — since every crime report starts with “Around 2 PM, a woman with a stroller, talking on her cell phone entered an antique store…”
Subtext: I never j-walk. I maintain a safe, five-foot distance from all operating microwaves. And I always wait 20 minutes after eating before I’ll swim.
What we initially think: Enter.
Subtext: I was a middle child.
What we initially think: I guess I need to lose Suzy Q from my sorority.
Subtext: No Tulane kids.
What we initially think: I’m so glad I left my small army of cats at home.
Subtext: We have the right to refuse service to anyone — drug dealers and cat ladies, alike.
What we initially think: And Greg is…?
Subtext: Effing Greg; he’s not that special.
What we initially think: Attention Aunt Tiki patrons, you are peasants.
Subtext: This includes you, Greg.
What we initially think: But actually, is it safe to enter?
Subtext: I vote Republican.
Chelsea Lee is associate editor at NolaVie. Email comments to her at email@example.com.