A Small Colorado Town's Punny Signs Are Receiving National Attention

Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

Indian Hills, Colorado—population 1280—has become an unlikely tourist attraction thanks to one resident’s penchant for puns.

As spotted by My Modern Met, the town’s community center changes its roadside sign two or three times a week, and the messages will make you laugh or cringe—or maybe a little of both. “Terrible summer for Humpty Dumpty but he had a great fall,” one sign read. “I was struck by a bottle of of Omega 3 pills. Luckily, my wounds were only super fish oil,” read another.

The mastermind behind these signs is Vince Rozmiarek, a volunteer at the community center and pun-maker extraordinaire. “I've been copied on lots of photos of people posing with the sign,” Rozmiarek tells Mental Floss. “It kind of put us on the map.”

Beyond puns, messages on the signs fit into a few different categories: general jokes, random musings (like “What happened to Old Zealand?”), support for local sports teams, and playful jabs at the local police. Rozmiarek said he’s been writing messages for five years now and has never repeated a sign. He does, however, use puns he finds online from time to time.

The first sign he put up was a rather convincing April Fools' prank. “We have a heavy police presence in the town of Morrison, which is next to Indian Hills, and they run a ton of speed traps,” Rozmiarek told My Modern Met. “The sign said ‘Indian Hills annexed by Morrison, slow down.’ Many people believed that prank, and the amount of attention it brought was really surprising.”

One of his proudest signs is a Denver Broncos-related pun that went viral following their 2015 Super Bowl game against the Carolina Panthers. The message, which referenced the last names of two Broncos players, read: “Breaking news! Large Panther eaten by giant Ware-Wolfe.”

"It is a challenge to come up with fresh ideas, but I try to keep it interesting,” he says. To see more signs like these, check out the photos below or head to the Indian Hills Community Sign Facebook page.

A police vehicle pulls up to a sign reading "Slow Down! Cops hide behind this sign."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "Police toilet stolen! Cops have nothing to go on."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "Drugs are not the answer, unless the question is Narcotics - 5 letters"
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "My friend in Quebec is a heavy drinker. In fact he drank Canada Dry."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "The last thing I need is a burial plot."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "Puns about communism have no class."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "The man who invented Velcro has died. RIP."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

A sign reads "Research shows that 6 out of 7 dwarves aren't happy."
Courtesy of Vince Rozmiarek

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus

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What’s the Difference Between a Tiara and a Crown?

Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images
Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Fancy headgear of any kind is often a dead giveaway that the wearer is of some importance, be it the bride-to-be at a bachelorette party or the Queen of England herself. But while you might refer to those ornate accessories as crowns or tiaras without giving too much thought to which term is most accurate, there are specific differences between the two accessories.

One way to distinguish a crown from a tiara is by looking at who’s wearing it. Traditionally, only sovereigns don crowns, while other members of the royal family and nobility occasionally wear coronets, which are essentially smaller, less elaborate crowns. You don’t have to be royal to wear a tiara, but you do have to be a bride or a married woman (at least if you’re following tradition).

“The tiara has its roots in classical antiquity and was seen as an emblem of the loss of innocence to the crowning of love,” Geoffrey Munn, jewelry expert and author of Tiaras: A History of Splendour, told Town & Country.

According to Insider, there is one exception to this rule: If you’re born a princess, you can wear a tiara when you’re still single. Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, Princess Anne, for example, wore her mother’s Cartier Halo  tiara during a trip to New Zealand in 1970, a few years before she was married. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, who didn’t hail from royalty, both wore tiaras for the first time on their wedding days.

The designs for tiaras and crowns differ, too. As Jewelry Shopping Guide explains, a crown is always a full circle, while a tiara is sometimes only semi-circular. Crowns are also usually larger—and taller—than tiaras. And though there aren’t any specific rules about what gems or materials crowns and tiaras should include, crowns are often more colorful and ostentatious than tiaras. Britain’s Imperial State Crown, for instance, includes sapphires, rubies, emeralds, purple velvet, and more.

However, since there isn’t a headdress enforcement squad in Britain or anywhere else (at least not one that we know of), there’s no reason you can’t sport a crown during your next Zoom happy hour, royal or not.

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