“A compliment for every pallet”. 

Those words were beautifully painted (and are there, still)  on the wall above the beer section of a grocery in town. They have tormented me for twenty-five years,  ever since I moved to this area from Boston. This area being about three-quarters of the way up the beautiful state of New Hampshire, on the Connecticut River, and a half mile north of Dartmouth College. Plus, only about an hour south of the Canadian border depending on how fast you drive. It’s a place of beauty, and a joy to live here, as you will discover when you read further and learn of my previous domiciles.

Spelling, and word choices aren’t any better in Boston where the English language is spelled the way it’s pronounced. For instance, in the lobby of the building I lived in there was once a sign;

“4 Sale, Green Paka, Hadly Wan”. 

What really made me laugh was the fact that the local Bostonians had trouble with my N.Y.C. English!

  • Lyric interlude —There is standing joke about shopping in Boston, and a classic at the grocery stores. If a customer waited in the  express lane, with at least fifty items in his cart, it was said that he’d either gone to M.I.T and couldn’t read, or he’d gone to Hahvad and couldn’t count. It showed  humor. (I refer to the customer as a ‘he’ in this interlude because ‘he’s’ don’t notice signs. Usually.)

But back to New Hampshire.

Complimenting a pallet stuck in my gorge. when I first noticed the sign I approached the store manager with their little problem. He, the manager, insisted that  all the words were spelled correctly. I had to agree with him there, which didn’t help my argument.  He said he’d check with the regional manager, he couldn’t do anything about it. I explained what the signage really meant, but his eyes glazed over and he looked  ready to push a panic button. I backed off.

A few years later I approached the new store manager about the problem, and again the new one after that, to no avail. I dropped my case. The sign is still there if you’d like to see it. Maybe take a photo. Get a chuckle. I wasn’t writing then, but there are still possibilities in a sign like that.

Now, I have to tell you about a new sign in town. It’s hand painted on a piece of wood, stuck haphazardly in the snow by the side of a well traveled road, and reads:


Now that’s a sign you could really dig your teeth into, and I plan on doing just that. Throw in a little paranormal, a bit of a thrill, a little dark humor and there’s no telling where something like that will lead you when you imagine to what the ‘NIGHT’ in that sign could refer.

Think about it.



About Eleanor Ingbretson

Native New Yorker. Transplanted to New Hampshire years ago, but still considered a flatlander by the neighbors. Writer of fantasy and mystery and whatever else takes my fancy.

Posted on January 28, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I agree, Eleanor. In general, men aren’t skilled at reading signs. Or finding the ketchup in the refrigerator. Can’t wait to see where the Hay Rides story takes you!


  2. Eleanor Ingbretson

    I think you should have left the restaurant. Comments like that beggar description.
    Now, did I use that phrase correctly, or not?


  3. Your philosophic calm is an example to us all. I wince visibly at such things, and sometime yell at the television when I hear their verbal equivalent. I once nearly left a restaurant when I saw a sign claiming that all their food was “ho-made.” But this was before the time of hip-hop.


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