Warnings and Other Reasonable Guidelines

by Rebecca on November 11, 2009

in Outdoor Observations, Perplexing Outdoor Signs

"Do Not Clean Fish In Sink"

"Do Not Clean Fish In Sink"

Recently I read a great article by the Trout Whisperer and his words reminded me of a hobby I recently adopted. Basically, I kept running into signs in the Great Outdoors that made me stop and wonder, “For Real? Seriously? No they didn’t, oh yes they did!” So I did what any amused soul should do, I started taking pictures, proof style, so I could later reflect on the importance of well placed guidelines.

Maybe this first picture is an Idaho bathroom thing, but I hope not! Surely this is a concern in other states as well, but at this point I haven’t gathered any collaboration. The only reason such a sign could exist in a bathroom is because somewhere a person decided a public bathroom was a sanitary sanctuary in which to gut pile a fish and wash it clean.

Finding this sign in a ladies room inspired an instant gasp of denial from me… for the collective female race. We gals would never! I won’t point any fingers here, so I’ll just assume the sign was put in the ladies room, as well as the mens, as an equality requirement, not insinuation.



This sign is probably the direct result of someone putting their hot dog packages, a few propane bottles and empty beer cans down an outhouse toilet.

I guess the suggestion of “pack it in, pack it out” is a loose term defined differently on an individual basis. In most cases, “pack it in, pack it out”  means hauling all forms of trash back home. In a more narrow field of humans, “pack it in and pack it to the OUT-house” is a perfectly acceptable interpretation of the suggested guidelines. Hopefully this sign brings clarification to their bathroom etiquette or at the very least a gentle reminder that only a few things belong down a toilet– like last nights chili…but not the actual can…..

In Other words, not a good place for a swim

In Other words, not a good place for a swim

This sign was located on a dam, with a sheer drop off and a spillway right below it. I wondered, who in their right mind would look at the body of water swirling like churning death below and think to themselves, “Oh wow! That looks like a damn good place to take a swim.”

Of all the pictures I’ve collected, this is my favorite. I like it’s tone, the point blank.. hey you, if you want to live, don’t be a moron and climb the fence, or do a swan dive, or attempt a backstroke over the spillway. I suppose in the face of certain death, subtle suggestions would be an ineffective jolt.

The scary part about these signs and others I’ve collected is the realization that they are posted because someone already tried it. Be it fish cleaning in a public bathroom sink, a propane bottle down the throne of an outhouse or playing dare devil on a dam.

I’ll continue to be on the look out for signs that evoke a double take. It is my wish today that you will be as lucky as I have been and come across signs that give you a shake of your head, validation of your good common sense and a decent chuckle. Keep a look out~


Comment from John who writes Seven Bridges Road: “”You should do a sign of the week or month and maybe allow submissions from your blog followers? Could get interesting.”"

I think that’s a great idea! I would love to see what others find on their many adventures and post them as a special feature. Sooo….if anyone comes across a double take, take a picture, email me, I’ll feature your special find! My contact information is on the About Rebecca page~


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

JohnNo Gravatar November 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm

This could get interesting! The sign about no swimming reminded me of the Darwin awards, http://www.darwinawards.com/ Funny stuff.

I have a few similar photos around as I also find them amusing, might have to dig them up. Glad to see you enjoying the camera too. I have never seen a “Do not clean fish in sink” sign around these parts however, I have seen a sign on the back of a prison bus that stated “Now hiring” which made me think twice.

You should do a sign of the week or month and maybe allow submissions from your blog followers? Could get interesting. Enjoying the blog, keep up the good work and try not to get arrested while taking pictures around the ladies room…:)~

Cheers.. John


MelNo Gravatar November 11, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Rebecca – Enjoyed this post and had a few giggles with it. I am interested in other signs as you come across them. Keep us posted.


RebeccaNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 12:12 am

Mel, I’ve got a few more I’ve ‘collected’ I’ll post up and John had a great idea. Hopefully if everyone collects these oddities and head scratchers, it can become a regular feature.

There’s just so much humor to be found under the big blue sky! (ok, and occasionally in bathrooms)


RobNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 8:26 am

Your post made me laugh.

I see things like that all the time, but I’ve sort of become imune to the stupidity…like the Bullet Tooth Tony line in the movie Snatch – “Never underestimate the perdictibility of stupidity”….

But on a slightly more disturbing and sicker note, when the band was on tour, you’d often find yourself in an array of off the wall places; gas station bathrooms, rest stops, and the always illustrious Port-O-Let. The funny and disgusting things written in these places isn’t the point. I’m just wondering who is getting ready to leave the house and the mental checklist running….wallet – check…..car keys – check…..smokes and extra lighter – check….Sharpie for bathroom wall – check.

I’ll keep and eye out and camera ready for these little humorous nuggets.



RobNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

Oh and the Darwin Awards are funny as hell but check out Chuck Sheppards News of The Weird. http://www.newsoftheweird.com/archive/index.html


KirkNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 9:45 am

Ah, a post that would make Bill Ingvall proud. You’ve inspired me to be more observant. Add to Rob’s checklist a camera. Never leave home without one.


MarcNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I’ve seen those signs,”No fish cleaning” in the bathrooms at the Halls Crossing Marina at Lake Powell as well, often wondered why someone would be possessed to clean fish in the “john” when they have a perfectly good cleaning station right at the top of the launch ramp. People are funny!


Dina HaansleyNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Seriously, that swimming sign does bring to mind the Darwin Awards. But who would do these things, obviously there are people out there who’s mind work in twisted, oh it won’t hurt anything ways. Washing fish in a public restroom sink…WTH. Wow the world we live in is very unique.


Geoff BrumleyNo Gravatar November 12, 2009 at 3:00 pm

This is a great blog, there are so many signs out there that I do not pay attention to, I will be way more cognoscente of my surroundings. The one about swimming is classic, and the filleting fish in a public restroom. Makes me wonder what possesses people?


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