Three good signs of an amusing week

I love knowing that this used to just say:
"Free Samples Try Me!"
At the end of a long week, it always is nice to spend a Saturday morning running what might be called pleasant errands. We do this occasionally in the Russo household, but not nearly as often as we ought. The way it works is that we have a short list of things that we'd like to pick up and all morning to find them. Then we just tool around looking at stuff we're not searching for until we find what we are looking for.
Because I've entered middle age (or at least pre-middle age) I've begun doing more old white-guy stuff like taking an interest in birds. It's something that always has appealed to me. When I was in college I did some Environmental Philosophy study that required me to get out and look at stuff. Recently, I wrote a story about the Trap Pond Bird Walk, which kind of rekindled that interest. That, and a gift from my daughter Melissa of a huge bag of bird seed she'd acquired. It took a couple weeks, but this weekend the birds finally found our bird feeder, so we headed out to get an additional feeder and ancillary seed in hope of attracting more diverse birds.
I won't pretend to be a home center purist, but there is something cool about going to a specialty story. We ended up at Johnson's Feed and Seed to get chemicals for the garden and to shop for bird feeders. I took the above photo at checkout.
I have to give the owners credit for putting the clarifying note on the dog bowl it filled with dog treats. For my pert, I would sit and watch people unknowingly eat dog treats all day. I don't imagine that ever gets old.

Typos, Schadenfreude and bold letters

Clearly, these people need a professional writer.
When I'm not writing about beer and culture or news, I write advertorial. I happen to be pretty good at it, which I consider something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I never have trouble finding work. On the other hand, the difference between the as a reporter and as someone who pulls together the kind of thing nobody really reads is tough.
Now, I'm nobody's proofreader but I still get a kick out of misspelled signs. Mostly it's a question Schadenfreude in a weird way. 
Usually I' like seeing misfortune befall a person or type of person I don't care for, but, in the case of public signage, I think it's just nice that it isn't me for a change. 
If you've never had the pleasure of seeing one of your typos in 40 point type on the front page of a newspaper, trust me you're not missing anything. At some level, maybe I feel as if there are a finite amount of typos possible on a given day and this is insurance against it happening to me.
There's a scientific reason for this kind of thing (so I'm told) that has to do with authority. Once something is in big bold print it has a kind of rightness that is difficult to question. It's also why it sometimes takes a while for anyone to point out a mistake. I only see them a lot because I'm in the business of being kept waiting, and when I get bored I have trouble not looking for things to mock.

Shots fired at the county fair

Die! You stinking, yella balloon!
I was covering the Wicomico County Fair this week and, as I packed up my car, I heard gunfire. A part of me really thought I had just stumbled into an actual new story. There were three quick pops. I waited for a scream, but realized that since no screaming took place between the first and third shots, there probably wouldn't be any. 
It is cool/horrible that that happens to some people though. I don't mean people involved in an proper tragedy, I mean those on the periphery. People like me who heard but didn't see gunfire and had to figure out whether it was "for real" or not. 
I'm not certain what it says about us that our primary reaction to gunfire in rural America is to assume there's no danger associated with it. True, it only took me a split second to see where the gunfire was coming from and recognize that there was no threat, but I parked in full view of the action. There were people coming in from all directions, walking toward the gunfire ostensibly because no one seemed to be fleeing. 
How much fun would it run against the oncoming crowd shouting "He's got a gun!" just to see what kind of response it elicits? Probably a lot, but certainly not enough to spend 90 days in the county jail. (I didn't check the sentencing guidelines, but as I understand it, 90 days is how long people are sentenced to county jails).


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