Dear Dr. Boli: Every time I go to the market, I see a sign: “Caution Automatic Door.” I’ve cautioned these doors for many months now—but my warnings are ignored. Is there some special danger these doors face? —Sincerely John M.

Dear Sir: You do not give yourself enough credit. The gossip columns and police blotters are full of the activities of automatic doors that have been indiscreet or worse, and yet the doors you mention have been quietly doing their job for as long as you have been warning them. Doubtless the opportunity has arisen many times to slam shut on some young woman’s skirt and have an ill-natured laugh at her expense, or to refuse to open when the manager comes in at 8:30. But whenever those occasions present themselves, the doors call to mind your cautions, and the cautions of the countless other anonymous good citizens who have taken the trouble to follow the instructions on the sign. Who can say what trouble those doors might be in at this very moment, were it not for your timely admonitions, delivered regularly and always in a spirit of charity? Well done, sir. And since you have shown evidence of such exemplary public-spiritedness, Dr. Boli ventures to suggest another field in which your endeavors might prove valuable. Do you think you might be able to do something about the slow children on Bland Street? The sign warning that they are just ahead has been there for years now. Obviously they must pose a danger to vehicular traffic, or there would be no sign. Can nothing be done to disperse them?


  1. Doug says:

    It is certainly unfortunate that, in this, the greatest nation in the world, there is such a prevalence of slow children. There is rarely a neighborhood through which I pass without such a proclamation warning of the deficiency of the local progeny.

  2. Bruce says:

    I too have wondered about the vast numbers of slow children. Is it really appropriate for public officials to mock them in such a way?

  3. C. Simon says:

    “Why were you going one hundred and one miles per hour?” asked the cop.

    The man said, “Officer, the sign right there say Speed Limit 101.” “No,” replied the cop impatiently, “that says US Route 101.” Then the man became panicked and said, “Officer, my brother is on Interstate 405!”

  4. says:

    Dear Dr Boli,

    As a parent living in the isolated outback this has certain challenges. My children cannot attend school therefore obtain their lessons through the air via distance education. Such also is the case with the flying doctor service.

    As a station owner, I do worry about the constant coming and going of front gate traffic so do I qualify for a bright orange “Children Crossing” sign at the front gate?

    Your response in matter would be appreciated…hang on is that the sound of chooks in the coop a flutter…must go.

  5. Greybeard says:

    Why is there never a sign warning about Fast Children at Play, only for slow children?

  6. Gill says:

    I find myself worrying whenever I see a “Doors are Alarmed” sign; one would think they would calm down eventually!

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