You should expect to lose one sock every time you do your laundry.
When spaghetti is done, it will stick to the wall.
Aquadextrous: adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your toes.
These and other wise sayings await you on your next bus ride. Look up from your newspaper, remove your Walkman and contemplate the theories of your fellow commuters -- there, right above you, plastered on the bus wall.
"The idea was to add a little humor, a little sunshine to the lives of those people who ride the buses," says Bob Harrell, vice president of Winston Network, from its Washington bureau. He is referring to the poetry, graphic art and humorous thoughts now displayed on D.C. Metrobuses.
Winston Network, the largest transportation poster media company in the nation, has begun a "magazine" consisting of 11-by-28-inch noncommercial cards displayed in the advertising space just above bus seats. "While we are selling advertising," Harrell says, "we would like to break it up with a little humor too. People are looking up to see the Streetfare cards, and as a result they see the ads."
The idea for the "Streetfare Journal: The Magazine of the Rider" came from the president of the company, Marc Winston, and art director Steve Strauss.
"The poster is coming back," Strauss believes, and a big idea behind the magazine is to encourage readers to interact with transit advertising, thus revitalizing this medium as a competitive form of advertising.
"There are various purposes for 'Streetfare,' " says Strauss. "One is to amuse the rider, to educate, to cause reflection. Another is to gather together under one media umbrella the total national transit ridership, creating the largest daily circulation journal for publication."
Most importantly for an artist, he adds, "The value of the advertising posters will be upgraded -- we will help the advertising agencies to create better posters . . . The transportation poster is a soft window in an otherwise bleak environment. It's a framed space that can be filled with anything from visual pollution to works of art."
"It is a very expensive proposition," says Harrell. "It costs us an awful lot to print them and to ship to all the major markets. That space which we donate is a revenue-producing space that we relinquish. It costs us a half-million dollars a year to do this, but it was something we felt we wanted to do."
The idea is currently being tested in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. "We plan to put them up in every city," says Harrell. Future editions will include the best of American poetry, health tips and quotations. Six signs are displayed in each bus and, starting this month, they will be changed monthly. "It is a great responsibility," Strauss says, "for by the end of this year we will be affecting 22 million people a day."
"In recent years, with the cuts in transit," he continues, "the transit operators have not been able to spend much on the quality of ride. This is an ideal time to try a magazine for the rider . . . The bus is the corridor of transportation. It is a community, and it is a lot safer than people think. 'Streetfare' wants to celebrate the community of a safe environment."
The response has been very positive. "From the bags of mail we get," says Strauss, "we know we are are filling a need." Although the art and poems were created for the most part by Strauss and a team of poets and artists, many commuters have responded with their own recipes and humorous sayings. While contributors are not paid for their submissions, they do enjoy an enormous readership."
And "people are noticing with much more frequency the advertising in the buses, because they are looking now for our 'Streetfare' cards," Harrell says.
"We feel that it pays off in the end," Harrell says. "We have to spend money to make money. And we enjoy doing it. It lets the community know that we care about something besides selling advertisement. We are part of their community."
"I would say that it is a populist journal," says Strauss. "We are taking a pulse and are trying to relate to the people. Because of that, it will become a great advertising forum, and it will teach advertisers to make great posters."