At my crummy job I have to deal with pallets all day long. If you don't know, and you probably don't, pallets are typically 48 inch by 48 inch square wooden platforms that are used for shipping things. If you work in a place like I do (and for your sake I hope you don't), you get to see many, many pallets up close every workday.
I've always been fascinated by the origins of the various pallets I come into contact with. (I need something to pass the time. It's sort of like stamp collecting or train-spotting, I suppose.) Many have the names of various companies on their sides. I see all kinds of things: Chiquita Guatemala, Return to Eastman Kodak, U.S. Mail, stuff in Chinese, and once I saw one made of Russian wood.
Today I saw perhaps the Holy Grail of pallets. Or maybe just the oddest pallet slogan I've ever come across: Treated for Plague. Yes, plague. As in bubonic. I guess having it treated for plague is better than getting pallets that are contaminated with plague. That would suck. In all my years of doing crappy, low-paying work in warehouses where I dealt with pallets, not once did it ever enter my mind that I could come into contact with plague.
And before some sad sack leaves a comment saying something like, "There's plague in New Mexico and it's a serious health hazard!" I know there's plague in some Western U.S. areas. This pallet probably came from someplace where plague's more widespread. Possibly India.
I wish they'd let me have a digital camera at work. Seeing interesting stuff I can't take a picture of is really annoying. It's kind of like shaking bigfoot's hand and not having any proof. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.