As someone who spends hours each day editing copy, I often find myself unable to stop trying to make corrections just because my workday has ended. This past week has been a gold mine for finding mistakes that I found quite humorous.
My wife, oldest granddaughter and I attended the annual two-day festival sponsored by international students at Marshall University.
For the first time, the popular event was moved off campus to the Big Sandy Arena in downtown Huntington. That was a much better place than the crowded room where it was a year ago.
Nature called while I was at the arena and I walked to the nearest men’s room that I could find.
Advertisers learned long ago that placing your advertisements above the urinals in men’s rooms is a good marketing strategy. After all, we men have to do something while standing there, and most of us read those ads.
One of the ads about the urinals was promoting a singer who I had never heard of who was coming to Huntington as part of his “Hell on Wheels” tour. I had zero interest in attending this event, but since it was right there in front of me, I at least read about it.
The other urinal ad did interest me. It was for the annual Christmas concert by the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, which the ad said would be in Big Sandy Arena on Dec. 15. I made a mental note to keep that date open just in case my wife and I could attend.
However, it was what was written right underneath news of the Dec. 15 concert that amused me. It said that tickets for the concert would go on sale on Saturday, Dec. 17.
“Hmmm,” I thought to myself. “That’s a really interesting marketing strategy. I have never heard of waiting until two days after an event to start selling tickets for it.”
Here’s where I think the mistake was: Instead of saying tickets will go on sale Dec. 17, the urinal ad should have said ticket sales will begin Nov. 17. After all that’s a Saturday and well before the actual concert. Dec. 17 is on a Monday.
I was stunned that no one caught this rather glaring mistake and hung the ad above the urinals with the mistake in plain sight. I wonder if other ads for the Christmas concert have the same mistake?
My wife, son and I attended Saturday’s pancake breakfast sponsored by the South Ashland Lions Club. From reading the placemats on the tables, I learned that a certain candidate in Catlettsburg was running for “city counsel.”
“Hmm,” I said to my wife. “I would have thought he was running for city council. By running for city counsel maybe he wants to be city attorney. Nah, that can’t be. Catlettsburg appoints its counsel; it’s not an elected office.”
Two other errors that I found humorous both involve missing decimal points. A sign outside a popular local restaurant was advertising a special on some kind of meal. I think it was turkey, but it may have been steak.
What made the ad memorable was not the meal it was promoting, but the price. You could get this dinner for only $999. Not $9.99. mind you, but $999, or one dollar less than a thousand bucks. I don’t know about you, but that’s a little bit more than I want to pay for a meal.
The other case of the missing decimal point was even more embarrassing. It was on the new Peruvian menu at The Grill on 13th Street. The decimal point was omitted from the last item on the menu which meant that instead of selling for $13.00 the listed price was $1300.
“You know for $1,300, I think they should fly us down to La Paz so we can have a real Peruvian dinner,” I told my wife.
“Do you think they would do that?” she asked.
“No, but I have never been to South America so it would be nice if they did,” I replied.
As it turned out, I ordered something that had its decimal point in the price. I am not sure what it was, but it was very good and I’d recommend it.
I write all of the above with the knowledge that as someone who has written for a living for more than four decades, I have made many, many stupid, silly and careless mistakes over the decades. Fortunately, I learned long ago to laugh at my mistakes and that’s exactly what those responsible for the above boo-boos should do.
JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@daily independent.com or at (606) 326-2649.