I stopped into a Schnucks supermarket yesterday to pick up a couple of things. On the way out, I noticed a digital sign that displays jokes or, more accurately, puns. The idea, I’m sure, is to leave shoppers with smiles on their faces as they exit.

But the one I saw didn’t work as any form of comedy:

Why did the gravy become a standup comedian? Because it had a “sauce” of humor.

I’ve included the quote marks around “sauce” because that’s how it appeared. For some reason, sign makers like to use that particular punctuation for emphasis: Parking here is “prohibited.” We will be “closed” on Mondays. No “shoes,” no “shirt,” no “service.”

Instead of quotation marks, they should use a bold or italic font instead. What belongs inside quote marks are verbatim words or phrases someone else has said. In other word, quotes.

But even if you put that aside, is “sauce of humor” supposed to be a pun on the phrase “sense of humor”? If so, it’s a lame one. Yes, I get the gravy-sauce connection, but it’s too much of a stretch. It might be better — but not by a lot — if the punchline was, “Because it had a saucy sense of humor.”

Nah, that’s not funny, either.

Look, I understand that whoever writes these things probably sits down and pumps them out day after day. Quantity over quality means they can’t all be winners.

Kind of like this entry on my blog.