"Big smile, it'll be over soon!"
May 11, 2014 6:59 PM   Subscribe

I work in a frame shop. There's a staircase with a 180 degree turn in it that leads from backstage to public space. The last thing employees see is a blank spot at eye level that's about 2 feet wide by 1 foot. I'd like to put something silly and PG13 there that would cheer everyone up when they see it. We have to be able to take it down periodically (and I'm open to changing it out every so often.) I was thinking a plastic dinosaur (plastic dinosaurs are inherently funny) with a thought balloon, but maybe MeFi can do better.

Cheap is good. Can't insult anyone. Shouldn't project very far outward. We don't have an outlet there, and I'd prefer unpowered, but battery-operated is OK. We need to be able to take it down and hide it when VIPs are expected. I am open to fabricating something rather than buying something. Nothing dangly or heavy. We have some flexibility with height but not width.
posted by blnkfrnk to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Smile! It's worse than you think!"

There are whole books full of more or less cheerful quotations, aphorisms, etc.
This one, for example.

Possibly a depiction of Douglas Adams's falling whale. "I wonder if it will be friends with me?"

My sense of what cheers people up may be broken.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:15 PM on May 11, 2014

How about a small basket with a few plush microbes in it?

I think they're cute, but I'm weird like that. Beer yeast is my fave.
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 7:18 PM on May 11, 2014

A picture with a thought balloon made of chalkboard paint (with a piece of chalk on a string?) would make it easy to remove, and also something that changed a lot. For the picture, use a bust of Shakespeare.

In fact, since you're a frame shop, I bet you could make a frame where the chalk sat in the moulding.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:18 PM on May 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

How about one of those novelty magazine cover mirrors?
posted by Poldo at 7:26 PM on May 11, 2014

"It's crooked."

"Does it match the couch?"

And because of the blind bend: "You dropped something."
posted by Rikocolin at 7:32 PM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Smile," they said, "life could be worse." So I did. And it was.
posted by plinth at 7:35 PM on May 11, 2014

This is my current favorite Memphis graffiti. Some type of mixed media art project?
posted by raisingsand at 7:43 PM on May 11, 2014

posted by kate blank at 7:44 PM on May 11, 2014 [6 favorites]

An official-looking warning sign that says "DO NOT READ".
posted by axiom at 9:09 PM on May 11, 2014

this Wondershowzen poster
posted by ghostbikes at 9:09 PM on May 11, 2014

Anyway you could put an etch-a-sketch or a lite-brite there that staff could change up periodically? Might be fun.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:25 AM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

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