Oregon Man Threatens to Blow Up Misspelled Sign

Man threatens to blow up misspelled sign

I’m beginning to sense a pattern here. Yesterday it was the Oxford professor telling all the grammar pedants to ‘relax’. Today, it’s a nutter trying to blow up a misspelled sign.

The sign in question is outside the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission in Salem, Oregon. A 50-year-old local man, Leonard Burdek, turned up at the office sometime after 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday carrying a pressure cooker with wires sticking out of it, set the ‘bomb’ down on the counter and informed the receptionist that he’d tried to blow up the incorrect sign.

"He walked quite confidently into our office as though he had a mission," Vickie Chamberlain, the commission's executive director, told the Statesman Journal. "That was what alarmed me right off the bat."

Once confronted, Burdek complained the “instructions he downloaded to make the device also were misspelled”, implying that Chamberlain and her staff “should be concerned about the level of education children receive given that his instructions were rife with errors”.

The sign in the parking lot appears to be missing the letter "d," so it reads, “Teacher Standards an Practices Commission.” Chamberlain told the paper "it’s possible that someone scraped the letter off or it wore off over time." The opposite side of the two-sided sign is not misspelled.

Burdek was arrested a little later and charged with disorderly conduct once police had worked out it wasn’t a bomb. Although in light of the Boston bombings, it’s a bit insensitive. “It looks like he was just trying to get attention,” Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada said.

The office is where individuals go to fill out an application for a teachers license, so I guess they would be ultimately responsible for the level of education in the State of Oregon — wouldn’t you think they’d be better at spelling? Or at least think about getting it fixed?

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles May 31, 2013 - 8:46am

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated May 31, 2013 - 2:56pm

I guess they had to use the money for spell checking signs to hire extra cops to deal with bogus bomb threats. 

Taylor's picture
Taylor from Portland, Oregon is reading Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby May 31, 2013 - 5:49pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I don't go around correcting people (namely because I'd then be hypocrite.) But, shit, that's funny...and pretty sad that they left that sign as is...for how long, too, I wonder?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated May 31, 2013 - 9:46pm

Part of me hopes they leave it and put up a little sign beside it that reads something like, "Relax."

Banz's picture
Banz from Brisbane is reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman June 1, 2013 - 1:25am

That is pretty poor.  "Practices" does not start with a vowel sound so the sign should read "State of Oregon Teacher Standards a Practices Commission".