dekePod Episode 017: If I were you, I wouldn’t necessarily want to hear this story. There’s an “ick” factor to it. Because it involves me in an airplane. Which is never all that fun. But, okay, that’s not the icky part.
The icky part, it’s about me in a bathroom. And I, then, well . . . Okay, screw it, here goes:
I’m in an airplane and I have to pee. Quite a bit actually. And I’m drumming my fingers, waiting for the “stay buckled” light to dim. You know, that one next to the “don’t smoke” light (which is forever lit, poor smokers), the one that goes off only after the flight attendant has been doing cartwheels in the aisles for 2 minutes.
Anyway, in the eventual passing of time—after feeling the sands of the hourglass dart like 10,000 needles into the tender walls of my bladder—I am finally allowed to unfold my cramping torso and make my way to the bathroom. And as I pee, I’m standing there staring at a laminated sign. And my thoughts turn to—of all people—you. (Ha, I told you! There’s the icky part!) Here’s why:
Signs are our friends. They help us observe the rules when we actually need to know the rules. We don’t all speak English, and tourism is a huge industry, so signs need to be language-independent. This is why immediately identifiable symbols are such an essential ingredient to good visual design, and indecipherable symbols result in commercial art catastrophes. Just think of all the bad symbols you encounter on a regular basis: Computer icons! Laundry instructions! Or Deke’s favorite: What you shouldn’t throw into an airplane toilet! Learn what works and what really, really doesn’t in this laugh-out-loud episode of dekePod.
I swear to you, I looked at this sign, and I knew: While you wouldn’t want to see me—not right at that very second, anyway—you’d want to see it. (The sign. That it.)
Seriously, this is a special one. Save it for later (hell, show it to the grandkids!) by exploring one of these links:
- For a high-quality QuickTime movie, right-click here and choose Save Target or Download Link or the equivalent.
- For an M4V file that you can play on an iPod, right-click here and choose one of those same commands.
- Or you can subscribe to dekePod via RSS or iTunes.
You can also check out the page at my book publisher O’Reilly Media.
Toward the end of the video, I believe I say something like: “The full-resolution, annotated, layered file is available as a free download to members of deke.com.” If you’re actually interested in such a thing, lemme know and I’ll post it this weekend. Like a cartwheeling flight attendant, I live to serve.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I seriously gotta go.