Blame This Post on the Lack of Caffeine

I’m fascinated by the icons used on signs and notices. Their attempts to replace written words with pictorial representations run the gamut from spot-on to terrible. The ones with stick figures are often parodied, but nothing beats the real thing.

For an example, I give you the sign I saw in the airplane toilet on my trip last week.

The sign shows where used tampons should go. Probably. Anyway, what is far more interesting to me is the relative scale of the woman and the tampon. I can only imagine what Charles Dickens would have made of it.

“What’s to-day?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

“EH?” returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

“What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” said Scrooge.

“To-day! Why, CHRISTMAS DAY.”

“It’s Christmas day!” said Scrooge to himself…. “Hallo, my fine fellow!”

“Hallo!” returned the boy.

“Do you know the Poulterer’s, in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.

“I should hope I did,” replied the lad.

“An intelligent boy! A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Tampon that was hanging up there? Not the little prize Tampon, — the big one?”

“What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy.

Yes, young man. The one as big as you.

9 thoughts on “Blame This Post on the Lack of Caffeine

  1. that doesn’t look like a tampon. i think that’s an old sanitary napkin/feminine pad symbol because nowdays the adhesive tabs don’t go that way anymore. (they’re uhm, horizontal rather than vertical.)

    sorry if that was tmi. 🙂

  2. Stephen, your mind scared me when you don’t drink caffeine. Joyce, that icon is brilliant.

  3. Eunice has most of the answer. The proper term is “Sanitary Napkin”, and those tabs are not adhesive tabs, but a continuation of the fabric, which would go through two metal tabs on a “sanitary belt” worn around the woman’s waist. Check out the Museum of Menstruation for further info. Or ask someone else who, like me, came of age before 1975. Hey, they were better than the rags my grandmother used. I can still remember her telling me that if I needed them, there were rags in the bottom of the hamper.

  4. Aha. I actually knew about sanitary napkins and have seen them, but my mind filled in the name “tampon” for them. Plus Turkey and Tampon both start with the same letter and have the same syllables, so it was an easier replacement for my new novel A Christmas Carol Only With Tampons Instead Of Turkeys.

    (And hi, friends from North Carolina!)

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