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I don't have a really concrete idea of what I want.
December 3, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Wet concrete being poured outside our house. I want to write something in it!! This is a two part question. a) Is this a terrible idea, and if so, why? and b) I'd love some creative suggestions for what to write!

We've already considered our names and initials, but I'd love to have something more clever or creative. So, I'm turning to the most clever, creative community I know for some ideas. Also, some other details, we are a family of four. Me, Mrs. Spyder's Game and two little munchkins, a boy and a girl, if that info helps at all. Thanks!
posted by Spyder's Game to Grab Bag (65 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can't go wrong with a crudely drawn penis.
posted by cmoj at 10:09 AM on December 3, 2012 [27 favorites]


Hand prints!
posted by marimeko at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2012


Hand imprints.
posted by royalsong at 10:12 AM on December 3, 2012


What ever you do, include the date.
posted by mmascolino at 10:12 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Toss a penny in it, if the workers haven't done that themselves.

I assume this is cement on your property?
posted by bondcliff at 10:12 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


a penny? Put a quarter in that sucker. Fun for years to come.
posted by zug at 10:13 AM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Dig here for Jimmy Hoffa"
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:13 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Private driveway? I have no idea what would be fun to write.

Public sidewalk? Yes, it's a terrible idea. Marking public spaces with something permanent is a privilege you don't have, just because you have physical proximity to the location. In my opinion, it violates the basic truth that we should all try to leave a place better for our having been there.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:13 AM on December 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


"treasure inside"
posted by hmo at 10:14 AM on December 3, 2012


Hand prints, initials to identify whose hands are whose, and a date to commemorate the event. If that's too bland, you could add some silly, fantasy, extinct, or local creature prints.

It's paving outside their house, so I'm guessing it's public but "personal," as it is in proximity to homes.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make boards or patterns for games (tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, checkers or chess, go, monopoly, whatnot), which make for a durable playing surface, and you can play the games with pieces or chalk, which can be removed for re-matches.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 AM on December 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Arcane symbols that don't really mean anything! Your house will be conspiracy-theorist-famous.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:20 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or for actual usefulness, an accurate compass: just a cross with arrows pointing N-S-E-W.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:22 AM on December 3, 2012 [24 favorites]


We just did handprints, initials and dimes from the year of all of the kids births. Then we did a 2012 dime in the corner to mark the year the pad was poured. If I had thought ahead, I would have bought one of those stepping stone kits and used the colored stones and tiles to make it prettier.
posted by pearlybob at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've already considered our names and initials

Writing in concrete is for children. This would be a great way to permanently remind your neighbours that you act like children.
posted by Dasein at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Writing in concrete is for children. This would be a great way to permanently remind your neighbours that you act like children."

If your neighbors honestly feel this way then they are stuffy nincompoops who aren't worth your consideration anyway.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2012 [23 favorites]


Previously.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2012


There's a walkway through my backyard that has some random people's handprints in it. Presumably previous owners of the house or something. Honestly, I'd prefer if it were just smooth cement. The handprints hold no significance for me and the people for whom they would will probably never see them again.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2012


I second the crudely drawn penis.

To elaborate: the crudely drawn penis is a universally recognized symbol across all time and civilizations. Games, names, and culture-specific phrases will die. The crudely drawn penis remains relevant as long as mankind exists.
posted by schroedinger at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


If it's on public sidewalk, know that it might just get smoothed over (this happened to me and I was sad).
posted by radioamy at 10:27 AM on December 3, 2012


Bigfoot footprints, or accurate dinosaur footprints!
posted by Blasdelb at 10:28 AM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was once walking down a little side street in Allston, Massachusetts, having just moved there and out for a stroll exploring my new neighborhood.

I found that someone had written in the concrete when it had been new, and it was now settled, and the words were there permanently. I forget what the first two said (they were related neither to each other nor to the third word) but they were spaced out - about half a block apart each - and what I will always remember is that someone wrote the word LOINS in the concrete for absolutely no discernible reason. And maybe it was the nice weather or the excitement of having a new neighborhood but I found that really funny and it stuck with me.

So that's my vote. LOINS.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:29 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Press some interesting leaves into it. We have also pressed our dogs paw into most pours that we've done.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:29 AM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The one time I gave into this temptation, I wrote the words "You are wonderful."

I figured the people most likely to notice would be people who had their heads down because they were upset or depressed, and could use some cheering up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on December 3, 2012 [35 favorites]


Writing in concrete is for children

I love seeing stuff that's been written in the sidewalk. It's part of the visual landmarks of a neighborhood. Stuff you see everyday, heart shapes, initials, hand prints, (kitty paw prints), what's not to love?
posted by marimeko at 10:31 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


The Alexamenos graffito
posted by theodolite at 10:32 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are little puppy paw prints in the public sidewalk just outside my house and they are the best thing in the entire world and they make me happy every time I see them.
posted by elizardbits at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


wet concrete
posted by asra at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I love seeing stuff written or pressed in the sidewalk. Don't listen to those sticks in the mud (concrete?) who don't like it. I love the basic initials and the date approach—or arcane symbols, an accurate (or inaccurate!) compass rose...lots of good ideas above.

it violates the basic truth that we should all try to leave a place better for our having been there.

This all depends on your concepts of "basic truth" and "better." It's a "basic truth" that, at least these days, all sidewalks are made by humans. I like knowing that humans lived near a given stretch of the sidewalk, and thinking about what their lives might have been like, rather than having all sidewalk be clean and untouched, as if laid down by robots. I think a human touch is "better."
posted by limeonaire at 10:37 AM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Writing in concrete is for children. This would be a great way to permanently remind your neighbours that you act like children.

When you put it like that it does have a certain appeal. Break out the cock templates.
posted by biffa at 10:38 AM on December 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


ARAMCHEK
posted by thelonius at 10:39 AM on December 3, 2012


Children's hand prints are lovely, happy things. If I bought a house that had children's hand prints in concrete somewhere on the property, I would just love that. Total bonus.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:39 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


A copy of the Laetoli footprints!
posted by musofire at 10:41 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"HELP ME" in mirror-writing?
posted by Lucinda at 10:43 AM on December 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Find some examples of hobo code and pick one you like.
posted by jgirl at 10:43 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I always wanted to do this"

via Joan Perry, Sidewalk Curator, who states "The sidewalk graffiti fascinates me. Let me begin by saying that I am absolutely against graffiti that damages homes and buildings. Sidewalk graffiti seems different – nothing is harmed and it leaves a quick, personal, and permanent message. Our Charleston sidewalks are a clear sign that we have a city that has been lived in by mischievous children and intelligent young people."

She also suggest this Awesome Wet Cement tumblr.
posted by peagood at 10:44 AM on December 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good luck -- the stuff sets up so fast these days, by the time it's unattended, you won't be able to write anything.
posted by Rash at 10:44 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"this is how your armpit looks to the mites"
posted by Namlit at 10:45 AM on December 3, 2012


It's not yours. I guess I'm confused as to why anyone would think this was appropriate.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:48 AM on December 3, 2012


I think you should try to recreate the Paluxy Riverbed fossil...
posted by 1367 at 10:52 AM on December 3, 2012


UNLESS
posted by elsietheeel at 10:52 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


there's a ring embedded in the sidewalk concrete near my house that I notice Every Day and wonder if it was put there purposely.
in the sidewalk fossils vein... do you have access to a small model of a skeleton?
posted by ghostbikes at 10:53 AM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


seconding paw prints.
posted by bricksNmortar at 10:57 AM on December 3, 2012


It's not yours. I guess I'm confused as to why anyone would think this was appropriate.

There is a world of things that are not officially yours, but you interact with them and leave your mark in various ways. And people have been leaving their mark on places to note that they were there for a very long time.

You have kids. If you do move out of this house, you and/or your kids might return some time, possibly with their own kids. It's a harmless little mark. Heck, let your kids doodle a bit. As long as they don't gouge the cement and make it into a trip hazard, let them get a bit messy and have fun.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Write this phrase long one edge, so there's no room for anything else to fit:

"With Alice gone, the money was meaningless, so I buried it at"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:02 AM on December 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Speaking of conspiracy, how about some Toynbee tiles?
posted by THAT William Mize at 11:07 AM on December 3, 2012


CROATOAN
posted by Sunburnt at 11:22 AM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


My grandparents' back patio had leaf prints around the edge and I thought they were the coolest things ever.
posted by Mavri at 11:40 AM on December 3, 2012


TOYNBEE IDEA
IN MOViE `2001
RESURRECT DEAD
ON PLANET JUPITER.
posted by stenseng at 11:50 AM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since jgirl beat me to it, I will link to some hobo code for your consideration.
posted by TedW at 12:22 PM on December 3, 2012


Besides your kids' handprints or footprints, you should do your own. Our teenage neighbor put her footprint in our new driveway concrete when I was young, and it was always very pleasing to me to stick my bare foot in there to see how much I had left to grow.
posted by topophilia at 12:36 PM on December 3, 2012


"Snow" angel!
posted by 4ster at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2012


My first day at my undergrad alma mater, I walked out after checking out the library (of course), and saw written in small letters in a corner of the concrete:

friend, our closeness is this: anywhere you put your foot, feel me in the firmness under you

It's a Rumi poem, and it made my day.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:22 PM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is a new square of sidewalk near my home that about 5 people have written different things into-names, hand prints, and random words all over. It is a butt ugly mess and a blight on my morning walk.

There is a driveway at the house where my mother grew up that I have not seen for 25 years. A back corner of it has her handprint, initials and a date. She must have been about 8 at the time. You can see it if you trim the grass away and it does my heart good to know that it is there and that I still have a little connection to that old house even though she's been gone for over 15 years now.

A project like this can go either way. Be careful.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:43 PM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it is not a full on butt print then leaves or hobo code.
posted by edgeways at 2:44 PM on December 3, 2012


For people who think the crudely drawn penis thing is a joke, it isn't. Go to Herculaneum or other ruins and look around. There are crudely drawn penii everywhere. I'm not saying the OP should do the crudely drawn penis thing, but it is in fact traditional.

Personally, I would recommend either nothing or a tiny set of initials. The ancient Roman crudely drawn penis artists were also boors.
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aha. So you should write "crudely drawn penii everywhere"

(we had a moose once make an imprint on our concrete garden steps. Pretty decorative, actually. You've no chance hiring a moose?)
posted by Namlit at 4:05 PM on December 3, 2012


"Sous les paves, la plage"
posted by roofus at 4:09 PM on December 3, 2012


When they redid our streets and poured a new driveway lip, my artistic neighbor wrote our address in calligraphy.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:03 PM on December 3, 2012


Why limit yourself to a penis. I'd do a set of lovely lady breasts.
posted by MT at 5:14 PM on December 3, 2012


LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR
posted by grobstein at 7:28 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I poured the sidewalk along my house I integrated an English old style hopscotch court. It's just straight lines (I made the home square a rectangle) so easy to do.

Here are a few pictures.
posted by Mitheral at 7:50 PM on December 3, 2012


Write backwards: "Help! I'm Buried Beneath This."

Aside: This thread is the most whimsical that I've ever seen on Ask MeFi.
posted by mbarryf at 5:36 AM on December 4, 2012


This thread is the most whimsical that I've ever seen on Ask MeFi.

To honor this thread and the collective work we've done for you, ride your bike across the concrete and write "whimsicle tracks, misspelled"
posted by Namlit at 10:42 AM on December 4, 2012


TRAPPED iN CONCReTe FACToRY, SENd HELP
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:49 AM on January 8, 2013


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