October 18, 2009

In a WHO You WHAT?

My mom and I were at the store and we saw a plaque in the clearance section, and neither of us could make heads or tails of it. It is unfortunate that neither of us has a camera-equipped cell phone, but I copied it down exactly, punctuation and capitalization and centering and all, and maybe one of you will have an insight that will make my headache go away. Here it is:

in a
friend

FRIEND

you find a
second left


I mean, what? What does that MEAN? It seems like we should have a "best answer" contest or something.

35 comments:

Kelsey said...

So I'm guessing the prominent FRIEND is supposed to be like the heading of a definition and the rest is supposed to tell what a friend is, but a second left? Because we're all continually mourning the fact that we only have one left and if we just had a second left (what? foot? hand? nostril?) all would be well in the world?

In a friend you find a second left

Even if I try to pretend they made a mistake I can't find a suitable replacement for left in that little proclamation. Life? Lift?

Yeah, I don't get it either.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

If you have a real friend (you know, a friend-friend?), and you're both left-handed (the basis for your friendship), then in that "friend friend", you'll find a "second left"-handed person.

BOO YAH. /crazy answer.

Yeah... I have no idea. What an odd saying. Maybe they've stopped caring what they print on those "Live Laugh Love" types of signs, they figure people will buy anything if it ~*seems deep*~.

Melinda said...

Here's my theory:
Typo in manufacturing. Should have been "In a friend you find a second self" and you ignore the big caps FRIEND in the middle. That's just "decorative".

Pisces said...

wonder if "second left" is referring to time? Sheesh, I don't know, but that's my best guess :)

sarah said...

ok so I googled this and found this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/re_wolf/3779984044/
apparently someone else was equally confused by this plaque. However, Sirius P!nk made a completely confusing attempt to explain it.

But yeah, I have no idea. But at least you know you're not alone :-)

Anna said...

My guess: A friend always has time for you. Basically an attempt at saying that even when you are overwhelmed or your friend is really busy, there is always a minute for a friend.
I'm also guessing that the FRIEND isn't supposed to be part of the saying.

AndreAnna said...

I was going to show up with this link, but someone beat me to it!

Guess it confuses everyone!

Kristin H said...

The longer I looked at this, the harder I laughed. Awesome.

Heather said...

Ohh I think I kinda get it after reading over and over and over.

In a friend you find a second left...

First, the big friend is the title of it that they've just put in the middle. As for the rest: If they are a real friend, they will find a second left in their day to help you/support you etc...

So 'second' refers to time and 'left' not as in the opposite of 'right' but 'left over'.

Jen said...

No clue, but it's no wonder why it was in the CLEARANCE section!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

The more comments that come in, the more it sort of makes sense... I thought of passage of time first too, but went for the crazy answer for fun, hahaha.

I would never buy this particular phrase, it's too much of a head scratcher.

Mary said...

Maybe second left is like directions? So a second left would send you back in the direction you were coming from, like going home again? So a friend is like coming home?

TJ said...

I stared at that for so long and so hard that I actually got angry at it. That is way more confusing than the carrots I posted today. If today were a blog contest between you and me (that neither of us knew about so there wasn't really any sense of competition) you totally would have one because what the hell?

Eva said...

I think Belinda's correct, because when I googled it, I got the automatic pop up when I'd only typed this far:

"in a friend y"

but instead of left, it was indeed "in a friend you find a second self."

Then a bunch of cites that say it's a famous quotation, e.g.,

http://www.isearchquotations.com/quotes/in_a_friend_you_find_a_second_self--/5683.html

Marie Green said...

No. Clue. But this one might show up in my dreams as I try to puzzle it out.

d e v a n said...

I can't think of any explanation that makes it a saying worth buying...

desperate housewife said...

I think the only thing worth taking away is that it's time for an end of production of all those Live-Laugh-Love type plaques and picture frames. I mean, we all have at least one or two now, whether purchased ourselves or given as gifts. It's enough now, with the cutesy sayings.

2Forgetful said...

In a friend you find a second SELF is phrase I've heard quoted before. I have to assume manufacturing error?

Or, this is a really bad way of saying you always have an extra second for a friend?

Too weird.

Kristi said...

Whatever the hell it means, I want to hang it in my bathroom just to confuse the shit out of people! Go back and get it Swistle!

may said...

My guess - if it isn't just screwed up "self," like everyone thinks - is that it was made in a different country and whoever edited it didn't know English well enough to realize that it doesn't make sense. I have a friend who brought me a cutesy notebook from China, and this sounds like one of the sayings that were in it. Dang, I wish I could find it, because they were stinkin' funny.

Lindsay said...

I was thinking the same as anna - the whole friends have time for you thing. However, I can't think for myself anymore so had to google it. I now agree with Melinda who says it's a typo and should be "in a friend you find a second self."

We should all be detectives or something.

Swistle said...

Kristi- ME TOO! I am seriously considering it!

beyond said...

if you have a true friend you will find your way!

Christy said...

I think you should buy it and give it to your father-in-law for Christmas this year. Let him figure it out!

jen said...

well, duh.. the second "friend" is to the left. :)

Swistle said...

Christy- That idea makes me GASP in delight.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Where was it made? Is it possible it was a translation error??

Kira said...

Duh. Because what are two lefts? One left shy of a right.
So a FRIEND friend makes it almost right. I thought EVERYONE knew that.

Mary said...

I don't know- but perhaps, this would be a great gift for your Father-in-law. (seems to have good intentions, but sure to cause headache)

Miss Grace said...

I hope you buy it. That is all.

Kelly said...

that is hilarious. no wonder its on clearance!! yeah I'm totally buying into the "second self" theory. man, whoever was on QC at the cute plaques factory that day better be on leave!

alternately, if one friend leaves Chicago with her target bag on her right arm, traveling 5mph with 2 kids, and another friend leaves Boston with 2 target bags on her left arm traveling 8mph with x kids...

what is the value of x, the meaning of friendship, and the importance of retail therapy, and show your work.

mysuestories said...

The only thing I found in FRIEND was a FRIED FIEND. I need to hang out with better people!

Anonymous said...

I don't know but I saw the same plaque and bought it because it cracked me up so much. It's hanging in my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I, too, purchased this plaque (for $.70!) after seeing it in the clearance section. I thought it would make a great white elephant gift for this year’s holiday party at work. I teach English as a Second Language at a university. Though my colleagues thoroughly enjoyed the “linguistical” possibilities of the sentiment, none of us felt certain that we understood its true meaning. We did, however, decide that the author relied too much on direct translation and should not be promoted to the next level of his/her English program.

Anonymous said...

Check the manufacturer/artist on the back ofthe plaque -- once we ge that we can contact 'em and ask! Assuming they're not the sort of poet who won't tell.

(My bets are on (1) some variation of the time thing, (2) that it's an intentional play on the famous saying, unless it's a weird political statement so cryptic no one would admit to it. I'm guessing few typos that significant on a plaque with so few words would make it past anyone mass-producing these things -- though they'd have one heck of a "most embarrassing" story if they'd admit it!)