Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Bratty Boy Scouts March 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:38 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

APPARENTLY I’M NOT ALONE in noticing, appreciating and photographing interesting signs.

After reading my post this week about the Antique Maul in Sleepy Eye, photographer Harriet Traxler of rural Carver e-mailed a photo of a sign supporting the Boy Scouts. The only problem—read the words the “wrong way” and they take on an entirely different meaning.

Here’s the sign Harriet spotted several years ago in front of a garden store along U.S. Highway 212 between Chaska and Cologne, Minnesota.

“I did a double take and had to turn around and get a couple of photos before they changed it because I knew it wouldn’t be there the next day and it wasn’t,” Harriet says. “Sometimes it is all in how you read it!”

Brats (as in food) or brats (as in bratty Boy Scouts)?

But Harriet wasn’t finished sharing her silly word stories. “We were once on a road trip to Florida and we stopped at a small cafe in Georgia to have breakfast,” she says. “No one in our group knew what ‘grits’ were so several had to try that (cereal like cream of wheat). Someone at the next table saw a sign on the counter that said ‘Polish Sausage’ and asked the waitress how they ‘polished their sausage.’ We are still laughing at that one.”

SO HOW ABOUT YOU? What humorous or intriguing signs have you spotted while you’ve been out and about? Watch for them. You’d be surprised how many can have double meanings.

© Text Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

© Photo Copyright 2011 Harriet Traxler

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4 Responses to “Bratty Boy Scouts”

  1. Amy Says:

    I saw one this summer up in the Swedish Circle area: “Jim’s Country Trannies.” I’m thinking he didn’t know that trannies might mean something other than transmissions. And of course, there’s always the “Welcome to Darfur” sign. In Darfur, MN.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Amy, for telling us about your sign discoveries.

      Amy emailed me a photo of the Darfur sign, which is simply two boards nailed across two posts with white block letters: WELCOME TO DARFUR. This is sheltered by a simple shake roof. In the background are this southern Minnesota farming town’s grain elevators.

      Amy was struck by the sign because its sweetness and innocence emphasizes the differences between Darfur, Minnesota, and war-torn Darfur (in Sudan). I’ve traveled through Darfur many times on Highway 30. Next time I’ll pay attention to this sign.

  2. Bernie Says:

    I don’t want to buy a Brat. Nor do I want Brats. *lol* Funny sign.


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