“When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigour”.
From the English-language version of a Tokyo car-rental firm’s brochure. Quoted in the Independent, 12 August 1993 and reprinted in The Guinness Book of Humorous Anecdotes, edited by Nigel Rees.
Q: What am I doing reading such trash when I could be doing something useful?
A: We keep a copy in the loo — or, as my upper-class friends call it, lavatory.
Later… A Reader writes:
In 1976, when I was employed at [xxx], we had a client in Japan who liked to practise his English at all times. In those
pre-email days, project interaction was done by post, and his letters were so joyful that they were often reprinted verbatim in the internal newsletter.
One memorable phrase was “I look ahead to your smart comments on scrumbling the budget”.
‘Scrumbling the budget’ immediately entered the internal corporate phrase-book, and is possibly still extant.
And then, of course, there is the famous hotel brochure which promised “a French widow in every room”.