Branching Paths (2016) Review

branchingpaths

Branching Paths (2016), directed by Anne Ferrero

Production Company: Assemblage | Length: 83 min || Rating: 9/10

Branching Paths is a documentary that follows the director’s in-depth examination of the Japanese indie game scene.  Throughout the documentary, which spans over the course of 2013 to 2015, you’ll see just how diverse it really is; all sorts of different people are introduced in Branching Paths.  Of course most are of Japanese nationality, but there is a swath of internationalism that makes its way into the documentary, with westerners creating a foothold in Japan and becoming part of the diverse fabric that makes up the Japanese indie game scene.

The director takes a low-key narrating role when needed.  Much of the narrative is pushed by the interviews and text that pops up on the screen saying what event we are at and what the purpose of it is.  A series of indie game events occur in Japan during the time span of the documentary, and we revisit the same events in different years, which shows the subtle changes, recurring faces and recurring games to see their progress.  Games we are introduced to pop-up throughout the different events: Million Onion Hotel, Downwell, and TorqueL among others.

Much of the interviews focus on the culture and market of Japan as a whole and how North America is the biggest market for their indie games despite developing them in Japan.  Because the PC game market in Japan is so small, it is important for developers to make their games available on mobile or consoles, whereas to appeal to the North American market they almost always need to be on PC.  Many games are crowdsourced or find their success in the North American market before being able to become successful in Japan.  We also see the progression of the promotion of indie games by big publishers such as Sony and Microsoft, carving out spaces at the Tokyo Game Show, and creating an event just for indies in the form of BitSummit.

Interviews with higher profile Japanese indie developers such as Keiji Inafune of Mighty No. 9, Lucas Pope of Papers Please, Dylan Cuthbert of Pixel Junk (Q-Games), and IGA of Castlevania fame also make their way into the documentary.  It is interesting to learn a little bit about the similarities between indie developers no matter their origins.  There are many other lesser-known/locally known people who add to the composition of the documentary.  A segment of the documentary also explores the blurring of the lines between traditional “doujin” (self-published) media like comic books and the indie game market.

We don’t really get to know much about the director herself other than she was born in France, and grew up on Japanese games.  It would have been nice to learn a little more about the director during the first part of the movie, but it was obvious they didn’t want to lose focus from what the actual subject of the documentary was.  The director is possibly on screen one or two times but her personal journey feels more like a disembodied journey as a result.  She narrates two or three times and the last part of the documentary she doesn’t make any other narrations.  The quality of the cinematography is quite good, and I was only frazzled by a couple of weird shots they kept re-using, such as focusing in on a person’s top half of their head and not seeing their mouth, or people’s fingers.  B-roll like this probably could have been better replaced by more video about that developer’s game or something.

Another thing to note about Branching Paths, is that it is subtitled about 90% of the time.  The documentary is interestingly multilingual as you’ll see most interviews in Japanese, a few interviews in English, and the bits of narration done in French.  If you aren’t a fan of subtitles, it might not be for you, but you’d have to be gifted in language to enjoy this without subtitles.  It would have also been nice if the documentary spaced out interviews a bit at times so as to not have to read subtitles while also having to read titling about events/dates.

Branching Paths is an interesting look into a niche market in the overall gaming industry.  A lot of focus has been put on indie gaming and mobile gaming in the past few years, and focusing on this area is a unique subject.  Most of what is learned in this documentary may be more interesting for people who aren’t particularly sensitive to the nuances of gaming culture/markets, but even I learned a few things from this documentary.  It held my interest throughout and didn’t really drag at any point.  Branching Paths is available on Steam for $9.99.

A trailer for the documentary can be seen below:

 

WoW Chat #24500: Bunnylol -> davepoobond

Bunnylol: (whispers me two Chinese words)
davepoobond: lol hi
Bunnylol: chinese
davepoobond: japanese
davepoobond: look at these!
Bunnylol: sorry
davepoobond: are you a girl?
Bunnylol: lol
Bunnylol: yes
davepoobond: can i ask u a question?
Bunnylol: no
davepoobond: y not?
davepoobond: do you like america?

 

Squacklecast Episode 25 – “Mad Max: Spoiler Road”

This entry is part 25 of 32 in the series The Squacklecast

Hey all!  We talk about lots of stuff today, including Japanese game shows, Mad Max: Fury Road and lots of upcoming/canceled TV shows this year.

We don’t talk about any Mad Max spoilers really until we accidentally let some slip, so we don’t talk about Mad Max until about the 25 minute mark.

Here are some clips to look at for the Japanese game shows we are talking about in particular:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFaF2etEJaE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlGWOBpZObg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qh4VNuW_1w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfMLmv1jULs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2lzoEwRUA0

Then we talk about Mad Max: Fury Road for a considerable amount of time:

New TV shows for the upcoming 2015/2016 season.  Lots of procedural shows where there is a person/thing that has a lot of extra knowledge or abilities to solve crimes.

Limitless being one of them, where Bradley Cooper plays lovable huggy bear who only appears in one episode per season.

And then there are like procedural shows for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or whatever, and then Legends of Idiots which is another super hero show procedural based on a comic book.

There’s a lot of time spent on TV show stuff.  We stop talking about Mad Max completely at around the 1 hour 1 minute mark.

See ya next time!

 

Long Live the Queen (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Hanako Games || Overall: 8.0

Welcome Lords and Ladies, gentlemen and women of esteem to the tale of Princess Elodie. A young girl caught betwixt her royal appointment as upcoming queen and the many dangers that the title holds. Watch her take classes on the many facets of a proper ruler and matriarch. Watch her weave her way through the tribulations of both political intrigue and royal scandal. Watch her conquer both the battlefield and the ballroom with her might and refinement. And watch her die… and die… and die again…

Cheerful

Don’t get too attached, her many deaths will be the result
of your bad decisions.

 Okay, I had my fun.

 

Long Live the Queen is a visual novel of political intrigue, war and death all dressed up in a pretty, pretty pink ribbon for your playing pleasure. The game casts you in the role of young princess Elodie, fresh from the sudden and unexplained death of her mother; this understandably depressed young lady is now tasked with running the country until her proper coronation on her fifteenth birthday. You, on the other hand, are in charge of keeping her alive by means of a point and click adventure where you will raise up skills to complete tasks through menu commands. You will fail.

 

At its core, Long Live the Queen is a literal numbers game. You have a number of weeks until Elodie’s coronation, attempts on her life occur on certain numbered weeks, and you then avoid them by having leveled the necessary skills to survive to a certain number. Long Live the Queen’s success in this formula is in how fluidly this all comes together. The game does the number crunching for you while clearly explaining all in-game mechanics.

 

If described in one word, the “game play” in Long Live the Queen is “light.” A typical in-game week consist of first sending Elodie out to learn two skills in the form of classes, and ends with having her participate in some sort of event during the weekend. Both skills she has focused on are raised by a base of two points per day and, with no bonuses, results in 10 points for the week. This is further diversified by her mood; every weekend you are asked to have Elodie participate in some sort of activity that affects her mood and, in turn, her mood affects how well she does in her studies. If done correctly, you could gain a bonus that is about three times the usual rate. If done incorrectly, you could succumb to a penalty that results in an effective score of zero points for the whole week.

Skills

The skills range somewhere between “a lot” to a “crap load.”

Now while simple enough in execution, to make the most out of your skills and moods requires a careful point and click balancing act. First off, the skills are quite numerous and the game doesn’t really allow for your princess to train evenly in all fields. More often than not, you will find that making Elodie a jack-of-all-trades will lead to an earlier demise than min-maxing (minimizing the effect of undesired skills and maximizing the effect of desired ones). This can get particularly difficult when you find out that each skill has two associated skills that must be raised over 25 points before the skill you want can be raised over 50 points. Overall, you’ll find that a well-rounded princess usually equals a hated, useless and dead one.

 

Moods, to the same extent, also require their own special balancing act to make the most out of them. Each mood is set at one end of an eleven point scale and at the opposite end of that scale is a mood that is contradictory to it. For example, in this game, you can’t be angry if you are afraid, you can’t be cheerful if you are depressed, and you can’t be lonely if you are pressured. How much each of those makes sense is up to you. So whenever a certain activity gives you points in one mood, it also detracts points from its opposite mood. This will often have you subject your princess to a constant state of manic depression as you go from one end of each mood scale to the other in search of the right mood bonus to complement the skills you desire. Though, even with perfect mastery of both skills and moods, it doesn’t mean your princess will make it out alive.

 PassiveAggressive

 It’s not like I think that the combination of angry and afraid is being
passive-aggressive, but it could make sense, man…
Source

Elodie is going to die… she’s going to die a lot… but that is also part of the fun of Long Live the Queen. Even when you believe you have a perfect set of skills and moods to take your little monarch from princess to queen, the game has no problem throwing a surprise curveball at you and killing Elodie off. The process, while frustrating, often times fills you with a renewed sense of determination as you start fresh and tweak her skills to overcome that particular obstacle and then find another one to have you repeat the whole process. Even when you do eventually manage to make Elodie a queen, you can find yourself eagerly replaying the game to find out what other sets of skills can make her a queen and not a cadaver. Altogether, Elodie’s constant deaths give a sort of morbid charm to the game.

SwordBlood
ArrowBlown_up

Never before has brutal death been more adorable.

Visually, the game takes many cues from the art styles found in most shoujo (girl) comics in Japan, which makes sense since this game is targeted towards girls but with a wider audience in mind (justifying my manhood: done). The girls are cute and the boys are just as pretty. My only problem is that despite the game fitting the visual novel category, it seems far more inclined to just describe the story rather than illustrate it. The game could do well to provide more illustrations during the more important points of the story than just a portrait of a face and some text next to it. Though, when illustrated, the pictures are a treat to see.

 

In the audio department, the piano arrangements that accompany the story give it a fairy tale ambiance, as well as, just being pleasant on the ears to hear. It does well to highlight the sad, cheerful, and action scenes throughout the novel. In contrast, the sound effects are virtually non-existent. Which is a shame, since a well placed clang of steel or cheering crowd could have picked up the slack where the visuals did not.

 

There isn’t really much to say about the interface. To its benefit, everything is easy to get to, clearly explained and hardly confusing. You point. You click. You get on with Elodie’s life (or death).

 

The narrative does a good job at juxtaposing the pretty princess theme with the darker tones of rulership. One minute Elodie could be enjoying a grand ball, and the next she could be at the end of an assassin’s blade. Though, in that regard, it does exactly what the game promises; it takes you through the “typical” year of someone destined to be queen. Where the narrative thrives is in the fact that, despite one scene near the end, it is exactly what you make of it. Often times, you will even find that events from much earlier have great impact on events found later on in the story. Though, whether princess Elodie makes the castle her gilded cage to protect her from the world’s troubles, becomes a war mongering tyrant, or goes on an adventure to vanquish fantastical beast is completely based on the skills she takes and choices you make.

 Military Elodie

…or you could play her like I did. As a warlord skilled in both decoration and public speaking that I imagine
screams, “I AM THE PRETTIEST!” after every victory to the cheers of a loving crowd

 

and so ends our tale of princess Elodie. A tale, while lacking both in effects of visual and of sound, can be an intriguing piece that is delightfully frustrating and wonderfully addicting to come back to. To all the Lord and Ladies in the audience, I bid you “Adieu.”

When not writing reviews as Unnamedhero, Eduardo Luquin can be reached at unnamedheromk13@gmail.com.

 

The Cranes and the Masking Tape

One day there was a family of cranes nesting happily below a huge fountain at an amusement park.  There were six cranes in all, happily living life, feeding from the crumbs dropped by the forever-eating patrons of the amusement park.

There was the mother, Sealee, and her beautiful husband, Archibald, who had four wonderful crane children.  The two oldest were twins, String Bean 1 and String Bean 2 (also known as The Twins String Bean collectively), followed by their sister Celithrulith and lastly, but certainly not least, came beautiful baby Stotch.

Stotch was only a few months old but was already showing great signs of growing up into a prestigious adult male.  He was the crown jewel of the family, because he was really pretty, cause he was a male, and males are pretty, and the only thing Sealee and Archibald would talk about to the other cranes they met while flying around the amusement park at night when all the a-hole tourists are gone.  However, because they were not as important as the new baby, the three sisters secretly met in the one place their parents would never think to look —  the bathroom — in order to find a way to get rid of “stupid baby Stotch.”

“We could strangle him!” the Twins String Bean shouted in the refracting walls of the bathroom.

“NOT SO LOUD!” Celi, short for Celithrulith, screeched at the twins.  “Strangling MIGHT be the best option, since us cranes have fragile necks….!”

The Twins String Bean started laughing in unison.

“But what should we strangle him with?!?” 1 said.

2 said, “Rope?”

1 said, “String?”

2 said, “A sweater?”

1 said, “A bowling ball?”

1 and 2 started rattling off random objects for about two minutes when Celi finally came to an epiphany.

“Masking tape…!”

All three cranes started squawking in excitement!  Masking tape was the worst feeling in the world for their feathers.  It stuck to it like no other adhesive and when you took it off, it took some feathers with it!

It was three weeks since the death of Stotch…  and the investigation was going nowhere!  Due to the chains of bureaucracy in the town of Beauracracy, also the fact that Tax-Free Furniture Week has been going on for three weeks no one gave a shit about the murder of a lowly no-tax-paying crane.  Sealee and Archibald had been crying ever since they found young Stotch strangled behind the river rapids depot, with the feathers around his neck ripped off.  His poor, fragile, neck had to been bent in an awkward direction.  As the tide came in at the river rapids, his body had traveled from where the murder had actually taken place, which still has yet to be found.

Sealee and Archibald spent the coming weeks in the company of their religious community, with Father Snewrug holding a ceremony for Stotch’s burial.  The three sisters, silently happy that all has been going according to plan, played along with the proceedings, no one the wiser that the murderers were with them the whole time.

Stotch’s spirit roamed the grounds of the amusement park for hundreds of years, as the Stotch the Crane Spirit became a theme during the Halloween event.  Eventually the park, renamed Stotch’s Scary Crane Park could not sustain on ghost stories alone.  It was closed down, and Stotch was truly alone, the images of his murder playing in his mind over and over.  Globs of masking tape littered the abandoned amusement park like tumbleweed, blowing across the landscape.

Stotch’s colors were very beautiful, even for a ghost.  It was what made him so noticeable when he appeared to people squawking in their faces.  Occasionally he would have been seen staring at people with his mouth wide open as he “watched” people going to the bathroom.  The things you can get away with as a ghost!

Stotch was feeling particularly even more alone than usual once the amusement park had been closed down.  It seemed like no one really cared about him, and there weren’t even any ghost-themed investigation reality TV shows coming to see find him anymore.

The abandoned amusement park was once again occupied when a sect of the human race, known scientifically as “Hipsters” began moving in.  They thought it would be so cool to live in an abandoned amusement park where no one would be able to criticize their tight jeans and hipster-sounding music.  They would have movie nights where they could watch all the classics, like Gone With the Windie Rock Festival, and The Fantastic Mr. Anti-Establishment Tight Jean Designer.

Ah, yes, life was grand in the old spooky haunted abandoned amusement park full of hipsters.  That was, until Stotch had enough of the hipster crap and Hot Topic receipts littering his home!  One by one, Stotch squawked very loudly in the face of each hipster, appearing and disappearing in a blinding flash.  Not only was he assaulting their senses, but he was ruining their movie nights and their mini-musical festivals that hipsters always like to say they attend.

Hipster-Honcho Jake Guldinthal, leader of the Hipsters proclaimed that all of his friends (also known as “subjects” in non-hipster lingo) should perform a séance to rid themselves of their ghostly companion.  His squawking ruined the best scene in Clearance-Priced Wedding, where the Princess of Bargain Bin Town finally said “I DO” to the Prince of Upscale Department Store Town and had a 50 minute-long lovemaking scene in which there was no nudity, and only money being used to touch each other.  It had something to do with using money for not-its-intended-purposes or something like that.  The movie ended with a wad of sweaty cash being thrown into the trash can.  Stotch’s fifty-one minute squawk would probably be a world record.  But, alas, the Hipster Congregation’s Hipster Council met in the Merry Go-Round to discuss their ghost infestation.  The only solution was to summon the bird into the open and shoo him away for good.

The cheapest psychic in the area, Jorge Yulonzagonez, a half Chinese, half Mexican, half Japanese man was hired to get rid of the ghost.  Now, you might be asking why this man is three halves of a person.  That’s because he is a conjoined “twin” with two heads, but both heads have the same consciousness.  Don’t ask why, but both brains work in unison with each other and when he speaks, both heads speak at the same time.  Sometimes he’s able to make one of them not say anything, if he’s making a joke, though.

Jorge Yulonzagonez came by in his station wagon, and the hipsters were all in a large circle around the bathroom building – the place where most of the activity seems to originate.  Jorge’s two heads spoke in unison, “Hello, my friends .  We are here today to exterminate this ghost of the day… this ghost of the night… this ghost that has been ruining your hipster musical festivals!  How dare this ghost ruin movie night and make your sensitive man leggings stretch further than they are meant to stretch!”

At that moment, Jimmy Santiago broke down and began to cry into his hands.  Those around him comforted him.

Jorge pointed towards Jimmy.  “It will be alright, my friend!  This puta will pay for the crimes he has committed!  Just because he’s a ghost, doesn’t give him free reign on being a jerk!”

Jimmy Santiago agreed with the empowering words and patted his comforting friends on the shoulder, thanking them for their support.

“Now, let us join hands and begin the expunging of this fowl ghost!”  Jorge got on top of a random box and began waving his hands around like a bird.

“CAW… CAW CAW!!!  SHOO GHOST!  SHOO!   LEAVE THIS PLACE!!” Jorge squawked like a bird.

Stotch screeched a howling screech that made all of the hipsters start dancing.  It sounded just like one of those bands they had at their last indie music festival, that they didn’t realize that it was actually a ghost!

Stotch manifested in front of Jorge, unable to disappear.  He stood in place and flapped his wings in an aggressive fashion.

Jorge pointed to Stotch.  “YOU!  GHOST!!!  LEAVE THIS PLACE IMMEADIATELY!”

Stotch fluttered his feathers.  “Who are you to tell me to leave this place?  I’ve lived here for a very long time and if you think some two-headed jerk can make me leave after what I’ve endured these years, you’ve got another thing coming, sir.  I was murdered in a bathroom and dumped into an amusement park water ride by my own jealous sisters!”

The hipsters all started crying.  It was like the plot from their favorite sappy movie that they never knew existed.  The only thing missing was a flight jacket and some ripped tight jeans with some shaggy hair cut.

Just then, a fleet of Versikons, a flying human species that is known to be a Hipster’s predator, swooped in on the crowd of crying hipsters.  They all dispersed and ran away crying into the distance as a few of them were lifted into the air and had their musical tastes demeaned by the Versikons.  Soon the Hipsters left the amusement park entirely, and only Jorge and Stotch remained.

“I didn’t see that coming.”  Jorge said from both of his heads.

Stotch agreed.

“Well, onto the next abandoned amusement park, eh Stotch?”  Jorge continued.

 

Jorge hopped onto Stotch and rode off into the sunset.  As they rode away, three female crane ghosts fluttered in the air.  On each neck hung shreds of masking tape…!

 

The End.

 

Find Your Ninja Name

Write your name in ninja by converting the letters in your name using the following key:

A = ka B = zu C = mi D = te E = ku F = lu G = ji H = r I = ki
J = zu K = me L = ta M = rin N = to O = mo P = no Q = ke R = shi
S = ari T = chi U = do V = ru W = me X = na Y = fu Z = zi

Names in Ninja:

Tekaruku Nomomo Zumotote (Dave Poo Bond)

 

Post a comment telling us yours!

 

Joke #21169

On a chain of beautiful deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, the following people are stranded:
– Two Italian men and one Italian woman
– Two French men and one French woman
– Two German men and one German woman
– Two Greek men and one Greek woman
– Two English men and one English woman
– Two Bulgarian men and one Bulgarian woman
– Two Japanese men and one Japanese woman
– Two Chinese men and one Chinese woman
– Two Irish men and one Irish woman
– Two American men and one American woman

One month later, on these absolutely stunning deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, the following things have occurred:

One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman.

The two French men and the French woman are living happily together in a “ménage à trois.”

The two German men have a strict weekly schedule of alternating visits with the German woman.

The two Greek men are sleeping with each other and the Greek woman is cleaning and cooking for them.

The two English men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the English woman.

The two Bulgarian men took one look at the Bulgarian woman and started swimming to another island.

The two Japanese men have faxed Tokyo and are waiting for instructions.

The two Chinese men have set up a pharmacy, liquor store, restaurant and laundry, and have gotten the woman pregnant in order to supply employees for their store.

The two Irish men divided the island into North and South and set up a distillery. They do not remember if sex is in the picture because it gets somewhat foggy after a few liters of coconut whiskey. However, they’re satisfied because the English aren’t having any fun.

The two American men are contemplating suicide, because the American woman will not shut the fuck up and complains relentlessly about her body, the true nature of feminism, what the sun is doing to her skin, how she can do anything they can do, the necessity of fulfillment, the equal division of household chores, how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and treated her nicer than they do, and how her relationship with her mother is the root cause of all her problems, and why didn’t they bring a goddamn cell phone so they could call 911 and get them all rescued off this godforsaken deserted island in the middle of friggin’ nowhere so she can get her nails done and go shopping…

 

Joke #18677

A Marine Captain stationed in Okinawa, Japan, breaking silence, I was accompanying the assistant commandant on his inspection of the troops.

To break the silence, the general would ask some of the Marines standing at attention which outfit they were serving with. Ramrod straight, each would respond, “Marine Air Group 36, sir,” or “Second Marine Division, General.” But near the end of the inspection, when the general asked a young private, “Which outfit are you in?”

The Marine replied, “Dress blues, sir, with medals!”

 

Silly Signs

Sign in King Arthur’s court: Sign up now for knight school.

Sign in speech class: No silence allowed.

Sign in a cafeteria in Holland: Mothers, please wash your Hans before eating.

Sign in the headquarters of the 7th Cavalry: Custer blew the Little Big Horn

Sign in a flight school: No crash courses given here.

Sign in the office of a hippie dermatologist: Give me some skin, man!

Sign in a sign-language class: Please talk with your hands.

Sign in a theater: Shakespeare married an Avon lady.

– Sign in medical school: Orthopedists get all the breaks.

– Sign in a doctor’s office: If you’re not completely satisfied with our cure, your disease cheerfully refunded.

Sign in a crook’s hideout: Warning! The police are armed and dangerous.

Sign near a frozen lake along a historical route: George Washington slipped here.

Sign in a doctor’s office: An apple a day is bad for business.

Sign in a realtor’s office: Give me land, lots of land, and I’ll build condominiums and make a fortune.

Sign in a beauty salon: W work so hard that we’ll even dye for you!

Sign in a sleazy cafeteria: Our silverware is not medicine – don’t take it after eating!

Sign in a garden: Beware of vegetarians!

Sign next to a deep-fryer in a kitchen: We melt the fat away.

Sign in a dentist’s office: Good oral hygiene is bad for business.

Sign in a cannibal’s hut: I never met a man I didn’t like.

Sign in a cafeteria: Shoes required to eat in the cafeteria.

Penciled-in afterthought: Socks can eat wherever they want to.

– Sign in a gymnasium: We tell you everything you always wanted to know about strength, but were too weak to ask.

– Sign in an I.R.S. office: In God we trust.  Everyone else we audit.

– Sign in a beach house: Bully permit required to kick sand in the faces of 98 lb. weaklings.

– Sign in a generating plant: We have the power to make you see the light.

– Sign on a jeweler’s shop: If your watch doesn’t tick, tock to us.

– Sign in a funeral home: Pay or don’t die.

– Sign in front of an oceanography class: Open only to students who can keep above C-level.

– Sign in a Vassar math class: Girls, watch your figures.

– Sign in an Italian class: Speak Italian, but don’t talk with your hands.

– Sign in a new math class: In here, we follow the liter.

– Sign in an old-age home: We’re not deaf.  We just heard everything worth hearing already.

– Sign in a post office: Postal workers are sissies.  They can’t even lick stamps.

– Sign on the door of a fencing school: Back in one hour — out to lunge.

– Sign on the screen (during intermission of a killer bee movie): Don’t leave.  This is only the calm before the swarm.

– Sign in a tailor’s shop: I am a man of the cloth.

– Sign in a witches’ coven: We came.  We saw.  We conjured.

– Sign in a chicken coop: Caution.  Fowl language spoken here.

– Sign in a Pawnbroker’s shop: See us at your earliest inconvenience.

– Sign in the window of a store: Our Going Out of Business sale was such a success, we’re having another one next month.

– Sign in a prison biology class: Study your cells.

Sign on a pet store for a litter of dachshund pups: Get a long little doggie.

Sign on a pet store for an opossum: A peticularly good possumbility.

Sign on a pet store for an Angora rabbit: A rare bit of company.

Sign on a pet store for Siamese kittens: Take both — they’re attached to each other.

– Safety Sign in a Karate cooking class: Wok, do not run.

– Sign for “The King of the Jungle Moving Company”: We Don’t Take Your Move Lion Down

– Sign in a clothing store: Wonderful bargains for me with 16 and 17 necks.

Sign in the window of an Oregon general store: Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?

– Sign in a Pennsylvania cemetery: Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

– Sign on a Tennessee highway: Take notice: when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

– On a safety information card in America West Airline seat pocket: If you are sitting in an exit row and can not read this card, please tell a crew member.

– Sign in a shop in Maine: Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship.

– Sign on a delicatessen wall: Our best is none too good.

– Sign in a cocktail lounge in Norway: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

– Sign in a city restaurant: Open seven days a week and weekends.

– Sign in a Japanese hotel: “You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.”

– Sign in the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

– From a menu from Poland: Salad a firm’s own make; Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; Roasted duck let loose; Beef rashers beaten in the country people’s fashion.

– Sign in a Hong Kong Supermarket: For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service.

– From the “Soviet Weekly:” There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet republic painters and sculptors.  These were executed over the past two years.

– Sign on the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to Moscow, you are welcome to it.

– Sign in a laundry in Rome: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.