Thursday 28 March 2013


Signatures matter! Learn from the sad experience of Dr. Dimowo of Anaheim, who put his signature to Oxicontin prescriptions without asking questions. He did take some precautions. He required patients to sign a declaration that they weren’t undercover agents. But guess what? The undercover agent who ratted on Dimowo lied when he signed the paper (LA Times 23 March).

So here are a few guidelines when dealing with signatures.

Signing credit card slips. Practice diligently. Your signature should closely resemble that of the credit card owner. Buy only from carefully selected merchants. Dealing with Date Drug Ltd or Wholesale Cannabis may draw unwanted attention.  Keep to lawful means of impairment, such as vodka or whiskey, and adjust size of order to the habits and personality type of the credit card owner: anal-retentive (1 quart), regular guy (2 quarts), party animal (3 quarts), addictive personality (4 quarts), suicidal type (5 quarts), etc.

Signing buildings. Start small. Practice by spray-painting your neighbour’s fence. Then go on to schools, libraries, and bridges. Never refer to your signature as graffiti. It’s street art. If you leave the spray can behind, it’s an installation. Make creative use of bodily functions to give that extra touch to your art. For inspiration check out vomit painter Millie Brown who uses well digested colored milk for her “signature” abstracts.

DNA signatures. Do not leave them on corpses. Wear latex gloves or wipe fingerprints carefully before disposing of weapons and bodies. Or use Chef David Viens’ recipe (LA Times 23 March): Boil body for four days, let cool, and strain out. Questions about how to refine the recipe? Put them on hold. Chef Viens’ style is sadly cramped at present. The jail’s kitchen is off limits to him.

Valuable signatures. Are you in the market for autographs? Watch out for forgeries. Always do your homework before buying. A George Washington signature in red ballpoint may not be genuine. A Babe Ruth signature on a hockey puck is suspicious. Be aware that Jesus did not write the Bible. A signed copy should make the warning lights go on. Careful with electronic signatures: it is unlikely that Jane Austen had access to signtool.exe.

A final caution: Stay away from authors who sign their books XXX, unless they are chimpanzees.    

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