Archive for April, 2010

The scary mug shots

April 23, 2010

In our office, you have to work hard to prevent your mug being stolen. In my few years with this crowd, I’ve learned that the following characteristics make your mug almost certain to get swiped:

1. It’s large enough for soup / breakfast
2. It has too few defining characteristics or is similar to another mug
3. You’re not watching.
4. It’s not chained down.
5. You just washed it.

cofee mugs

On the left, the standard store mug. Cheap, but very stealable. On the right, a Disney mug I picked up at a fleamarket, which was unintimidating enough to be frequently borrowed.

If you’re lucky, it’ll be returned to the kitchen one day, with oatmeal stuck to it and lipstick on the rim. If you’re not… out you go to buy another.

Ok, doesn't look too bad... but check out the other side, below.

But I’m too wise for that. I have two coffee mugs that nobody ever borrows. The first was given to me by a columnist who writes for me on, Chris McEvoy, to acknowledge that I’m not a backstabber, and can occasionally be a bit of a bitch when pushed.

Daddy loves you, but he loves his heroin more right now.

The other one I found at Milnerton Market. I’m pretty sure an errant father made this on his first day in mental hospital or rehab, before the drugs wore off. The handle is studded. Amazingly even though it is big enough to double as a cereal bowl, I’ve never known anyone to steal it.

See? Told you you’d learn shitloads of really useful stuff if you read my blog.

Hungry for knowledge? There’s an archive of my previous sign blogs on Channel24 Blogs.

The worst break-up letters EVER

April 23, 2010

Well yes, like there’s such a thing as a “GOOD” break-up letter. I’ve recieved, so far, a rambling rant on Valentine’s Day about how if he dated anyone it would be me (he later hooked up and got serious with one of my best friends) and I’ve written a few. Yesterday to break up with one of my best friends. Actually, that’s not entirely true: to say either treat me better, or piss off. Since he hasn’t apologised or replied, except to taunt me publically, I’d say that after 12 years I’m calling it over.

"Hi Steve

Do I have your attention now?
I know all about her you dirty, sneaky, immoral, unfaithful poorly-endowed slimeball.  Everything’s caught on tape
Your soon-to-be-ex wife
PS: I paid or this billboard from OUR joint bank account.

See Huffington post’s gallery of worst / most absurd breakup letters. God knows where they find this shit…

Moving day

April 21, 2010
Jean Barker South Africa

This is me, standing in front of some cartoons of people I worked with at

This is me. Left.

I’m moving my old blog, Sign Language, off Letterdash in South Africa and onto WordPress. Why? I need the things that WordPress can do, and the longer I wait, the more I have to move.  Also, I can’t find some of my earlier, and archiving is important to me.

Every day I’ll post a few of my old blogs – pictures of signs / adverts or other signifiers with my comments below them, together with the origional date posted. Unless there’s a way to backdate? I doubt that.

Thanks for having me.  And if you see a sign that amuses me, snap it,  and email it to me with some info about where, when, and what you thought, as well as your blog link. I’m on

Later, Jean Barker

Writer, Journalist, and occasional photographer