January 11, 2003
Signs And Portents

Responding to one of my New Year's Eve posts, Aaron Haspel of God of the Machine mentions another amusingly ambiguous sign, which reads:

No Soliciting
Violators Will
Be Punished

That reminds me of a sign that was once quite famous, at least in the academic world. Near the University of Chicago there is (or was) a fried chicken place -- very tasty, as I recall -- part of a small local chain called, I think, Harold's. It was take-out only, so there were no tables or chairs, just an order window and a fairly large room where customers could get out of the weather while they waited for their chicken. The owner (presumably Harold himself) wanted to keep the room clean and uncluttered, so there was a sign that read:


This was a source of amusement to Hyde Park residents until William Safire mentioned it in his language column in the New York Times. Two days later, it disappeared from the store, though I've heard that it reappeared at one of the other branches further from the university. As one of my friends said at the time (hi, Malcolm!), it's interesting to consider how many degrees of separation there were between the owner and whoever read the Safire column. The fact that it took two days suggests that there were at least one or two intermediaries.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at January 11, 2003 09:39 AM

How can you possibly have been unsure of the name of Harold's Fried Chicken Shack? Good Doctor, I have to wonder if you were fully exposed to the culinary delights of that wonderful and unique Hyde Park institution.

Me? The first time I had the spicy chicken over at Harold's I nearly sweated ten pounds off. And I have been thin pretty much all of my life.

Good heavens, this post is making me hungry. Not to mention nostalgic.

Posted by: Pejman Yousefzadeh on January 12, 2003 01:40 AM

It's been over 25 years, what do you want?

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on January 12, 2003 09:07 AM

Uh, isn't it just Harold's Chicken Shack? I think the "fried" is implied in this usage. :-)

Unfortunately I have to report that I got food poisoning at the South Loop branch of Harold's over Christmas this year. :-(

I only recently realized that we must add the good Doctor to the list of famous University of Chicago bloggers.

Posted by: Troutgirl on January 13, 2003 01:24 PM

Just joshing and teasing, good Doctor.

And yes, the "fried" is not part of the name, so I guess I am forgetting too. Damn--must go back soon.

Posted by: Pejman Yousefzadeh on January 13, 2003 07:03 PM

Though it wasn't enshrined as a sign, I was amused at a recent NYT article which quoted a noted "Neanderthal specialist".

Posted by: Cronaca on January 15, 2003 02:37 PM