09 September 2008

Messages from (Slightly) on High

This post is way off-topic for this blog. But the bulletin board rectangle thingies attached to fast food franchises in suburbs and at highway waysides have always attracted my annoyed attention. I find their consumer messages alternately off-putting, unintentionally funny and cryptic. Some are like roadside Haikus, they are so oddly and sparingly worded. Others provoke a visceral reaction. I'll never forget the Burger King sign in Greensboro, North Carolina, that asked me "Have You Tried Our Cheeseburger Salad?" It that a thing to ask a decent person?

This Arby's lives in upstate New York somewhere. I forget exactly where. I don't go to Arby's, so I have no idea what they're talking about when they say "It's Back Orange Swirl U Pick $5.95." What's an Orange Swirl? Did it used to be at Arby's and then go away? If so, why? And why did it come back? Were a lot of people waiting for it to come back? And what do I "pick" if I get one (assuming the product in question is actually called Orange Swirl). I can't pick the color. It's orange, right? That's part of the deal. I'm not picking the size, because the thing is $5.95. One price only, so one size only, right? Do I pick the nature and shape of the swirl? Or are they saying
simply that I can pick whether to order one or not? But I know that already, though.

I could, of course, check the internet and find out what the Orange Swirl is all about in a couple seconds. But I prefer to be confounded by the sign. One needs a little mystery in one's life.

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