A Cautionary Tale

I made a little graphic which I posted on Facebook earlier this week, and it seems to have hit a chord with the crowd there:

A Cautionary Tale
Click to see larger. (For the visually impaired, it’s a yellow “caution” sign similar to those posted along roadways, except this one reads “Caution: Objects In Calendar Are Closer Than They Appear”.)

In just four days, it has already been “shared” on Facebook more than 500 times. Wow!

Several have asked for a higher-resolution copy of the image to print and post by their calendars and such. I’m fine with that, as long as it’s not altered — I have a tiny credit on the bottom which, I hope, helps “spread the word” a little about This is True. To get it, click to see the larger version, and then you can right-click to download it.

Or, Just “Share”

If you’d like to “share” it from the original Facebook post (which will also help spread the word a bit!), that’s here. While you’re there, I’ll invite you to “Like” True’s Facebook page.

What does this have to do with This is True? Well, it’s obviously not weird news, but it is amusing, and at least somewhat thought-provoking. Works for me!

(If you’re not a True reader already, you might want to subscribe to the free newsletter using the form in the sidebar: it’s thought-provoking entertainment!)

Credit Where Due

Where did that one-liner idea come from? Premium subscriber Bruce in California sent me a note of thanks for last week’s issue, and in the “signature” area of his email was that pithy sentence. However, I envisioned it as a yellow “caution” sign, so I added that one word and created the sign in my graphics software and posted it. It’s a great concept on its own, but just needed that little visual element for it to really take off.

I asked Bruce where he got it. He replied: “You’re right that I didn’t think of it myself. Sadly, I have forgotten where I [originally] saw it. I’m very pleased that you liked it so much.”

18 Comments on “A Cautionary Tale

  1. But does that also apply to the Mayan calendar, too? Or whatever calendar that Harold Camping is using?

    Myself, I don’t worry about calendars too much. I’ve noticed that they tend to repeat every so many years. For example, you can use the 1984 calendar, day for day, for 2012. Or the 1956 calendar. And again in 2040.

  2. Wow! This is perfect for posting over my desk, reminding me to check my calendar and prioritize the “next project” I get hit with.

    As an IT manager I “work” for many departments, and each department supervisor “forgets” that they’re not the only one with something I need to do. Perhaps this will help remind them that I have many balls to juggle to meet each ones needs (although I seriously doubt it).

    Thank you very much Randy! This made my day.

    Happy to help! -rc

  3. I think I need to add this to my syllabi! That paper due date looks SOOOOOO far away to most students until it’s tomorrow.

    Wonderful! -rc

  4. @Chris, Ohio:
    You should get a local radio station to run this as a contest before you do this so they will pay for the tattoo and give you cash! I mean, it worked before for a couple of guys….

  5. Just a funny thought I had as I read the “helpful verbiage” added under the sign. If a person was visibly impaired and unable to see the sign to begin with then would they really be able to read that helpful little tag? (“for the visual impaired, its a yellow “caution” sign etc…..”) Just made me laugh in true “This is True” fashion so thank you for that 🙂

    This is True is about thinking. You’re not thinking about it. Do you really think I’d put that there for the visually challenged if they couldn’t read it? Think about it, Lisa! -rc

  6. I vaguely remember reading something about software that can translate printed text to spoken word. Since the picture is not text, but rather an image, the actual text of the image could not be translated for those visually impaired. I never paid much attention since it does not apply to me, but that was MY assumption of the reiteration.

    You thought it through! -rc

  7. After burning through a one-year datebook, I was pleasantly surprised to find a perpetual one at the local Target right next to me for half the price of one at an office supply store (and in a color I much preferred!). No more running out of space for doctor’s appointments at the end of “their” year!

    I just use my smartphone. -rc

  8. Don’t feel bad Lisa – to begin with I would read the ‘For the visually impaired…’ comments after funny pictures in the Jumbo Jokes pages and would wonder how visually impaired people were supposed to read them. I’ve been an IT consultant for 15 years and I know a bit about accessibility on web sites, yet the penny still didn’t drop.

    Then, one day I asked myself why a clever guy who checks his material carefully would make that mistake, and then I began to think….

  9. Why is it all of the blind people I know call themselves “blind” instead of “visually impaired”?

    Why is is that most of the people I know with smartphones are dumber than the phone?

    Why does someone goto the hardware store to buy a hot water heater when they are really buying a cold water heater?

    Why are square signs turned 90 degrees and pained that awful yellow?

    Why are babies on boards instead of in car seats?

    Sometimes it feels like I am stuck in hell.

    If only there was a card to get me out….


    To answer your questions: 1) Because it’s more specific. I use VI here since it addresses more than just the blind. 2) Because you know a lot of dumb people! 3) Exactly! 4) To be more eye-catching. 5) Because parents are dumb too. -rc

  10. Randy, you must sell these as stickers! One inch, two inch, and four inch. Do it now!

    I’ll add it to my to-do list — which is finally down to just 237 pages! -rc

  11. Out of curiosity, Randy, why do you put just the text of the image in the alt attribute and then a separate explanation afterwards? Are you aware of screen readers which don’t handle alt text?

    I’ve had so many blind and visually impaired readers express appreciation for the details that I consider it best practice. Plus, sometimes readers don’t “get” the image even if they can see it, and the explanation helps them, too — though not so much with this simple image. -rc

  12. A square sign rotated 90 degrees? Surely bandit from Alburquerque means 45 degrees?

    Surely. -rc

  13. @David, Essex, England: 90 vs 45 degrees

    That was posted by my evil twin in Albrquerque, Spain. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico (note the extra “r” in the Spain town name).

    He has problems with degrees of all sorts – university, temperature, angles, etc.

    Everybody *I* know buys cold water heaters and turns squares 45 degrees to make a pseudo-diamond shape. They also put babies in car seats (never in a crate on the car roof…. :^)

    Curse my evil twin!!

  14. “We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” ~ Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks
    Bandit stands in company of the Greats.


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