A Rocky Mountain House street sign that became the butt of a joke by American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres last week is no laughing matter, said the owner of the business that sponsors the sign.
A Calgarian who was visiting the town sent a picture of the sign to the popular daytime television show that regularly has a segment in which DeGeneres shares viewers’ photos of humorous signs found from around the world.
The metal sign in Rocky, with the slogan “Where Adventure Begins” followed by “Rocky Funeral Home,” saw some people chuckling over the juxtaposition of adventure and death.
The owner of the funeral home, however, wasn’t laughing.
“If they find it funny, lighthearted, more power to them,” said Gord Flinn.
Flinn has been in the funeral business for 46 years and said it is a sensitive profession that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
He also said he’ll ask to have the sign removed if he receives more calls about it.
Flinn said on Tuesday that he received six calls in the week after the image was posted on DeGeneres’s website. Two calls were from media and two were from Albertans who said they found the sign amusing.
The other two, he said, came from angry Californians who accused him of distasteful advertising.
“The reason we did it is for the beautification and we support our community,” Flinn said of the sign that a flower basket hangs from during warmer seasons.
Flinn’s business has been sponsoring the sign at the corner of 52nd Avenue and 48th Street for about eight years.
Some current and former Rocky Mountain House residents left comments regarding the photo on DeGeneres’s website.
Most seemed excited that she brought attention to the town and many said they had never even noticed the sign.
The image can be found in the Funny Signs gallery at www.ellen.warnerbros.com.