Businesses ‘talking trash.’ Sign war unites Kentucky town, provides ‘needed’ laughter

·3 min read

There is a war in Madisonville. It’s not the kind of war people need to run or take cover from for protection.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

Local businesses in Madisonville have been engaging in a “sign war.” Businesses are putting out signs that make fun of other companies. The war has been ongoing for over a week with no signs of slowing down. More than 70 businesses are partaking in the action.

The fun started when Taylor James, the owner of Clements Jewelers, put a sign out in front of her store that made fun of Workout Anytime Madisonville, a fitness center across the street.

“We always kind of, like, gave them crap for taking our parking and stuff like that,” James said. Up went “Diamonds over Dumbbells” and the good-natured skirmish was on.

James’ husband posted a picture of the sign on Facebook. Social media users loved the friendly banter and responded to it positively.

That encouraged other businesses to do something similar and before long, a full-blown sign war was underway.

“I kind of assumed they might write something back or comment on the Facebook or do something like that. But I never in a million years thought that everyone in town would participate and it would become such a big thing,” James said. “I’m glad it has. It definitely has brought a lot of light to a lot of businesses that I’m sure a lot of our community doesn’t even know exists, sadly. Because we are such a small town, I think that it could potentially help people with business.”

Creative examples abound throughout town.

“All you businesses talking trash…. But we’re the ones who got the $CASH$,” First United Bank and Trust Company’s sign read.

“Though muscles are nice….. And diamonds are regal….. At 24 Union we keep you LEGAL!” the Hopkins County Clerk’s Office sign said.

“Keep your locks, rocks, jocks. We pour our heart & soul in the boondocks,” Poppy & Clover’s sign read.

“No chains. No Gains. No Bangs. No Baby Thangs. But we got ‘Stangs,” Watermark Ford Nissan of Madisonville wrote.

“You may think you are witty Mad-town, but it’s AOF that wears the crown,” the sign from All Occasions Formal read.

While you’re legal, lit and burnin’ … at MSU-MAD, we’re learnin’,” Murray State Madisonville’s sign said.

Business has gone up for Clements Jewelers since the war’s inception. Heavy traffic on the businesses’ social media platforms has brought extra attention to the store’s online website.

The same could be said for other businesses in the area.

“It’s brought us together in a time I think we needed some laughter and some levity,” said Libby Spencer, president of the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce has served as the mediator for the war, sharing all the creative signs they see on their Facebook page. One of latest signs to be shared on the page came from Life Apostolic Church, which claimed its “Sundays” were better than the sundaes offered at Dairy Queen.

As for Clements Jewelers’ latest sign, it has started a game of tic-tac-toe with Hadassah Hair Studio, a salon across the street. Hadassah Hair Studio has a sign in front of its store that reflects the current game between the two businesses.

“Hopefully it goes on through the holidays,” James said. “That’s kind of the goal, is that we all just kind of keep this going as long as we can and hopefully someone else starts something new and cool.”

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