I Saw the Sign

This has appeared in the changing rooms of my Gym.


Someone employed by Virgin Active was sufficiently affronted by the concept of surreptitious photography on his premises that he expended considerable effort and expense on stopping it. This must mean the problem of people taking photos in changing rooms is so extensive and persistent that plastic signs are required to discourage the practice.

This seems strange, as in my accumulated hours of dressing and undressing in that changing room, the first time I witnessed someone using a camera was when I used one myself to photograph the stupid fucking sign.

It must happen so rarely. The jokey language used on the sign indicates that the person tasked with writing the copy for it found it hard to take seriously.

If you are in the habit of photographing strangers as they undress, you are unlikely to be deterred by a non-sentient piece of plastic telling you not to. Seriously, there’s a guy in your area of the changing room – he’s naked, and bending down to pick up the swimming goggles he just dropped – you’re there ready with your camera-phone set to silent, when suddenly you see the sign. Oh, you think to yourself, the sign says I can’t take pictures in the changing room. Damn and blast!

I start to imagine pointless signs elsewhere in the gym. Like a sign in the pool area saying “For the safety and comfort of our patrons, please do not defecate in the jacuzzi” and “Members are advised that covering yourself in baby oil and masturbating during spin classes is no longer permitted”.

I think there’s more sinister elements at work here. Sign-makers have their fingers in the pies of Government. Since the smoking ban was introduced, signs have appeared everywhere informing you that “It is against the law to smoke on these premises”. All well and good for establishments where you were previously able to smoke, but for Christ’s sake, do they need to have them plastered all over the National Portrait Gallery? Who the fuck has walked around the National Gallery puffing away on a Marlboro light recently? Is there any need whatsoever for these mindlessly prescriptive wall adornments?


One Response to I Saw the Sign

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