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Highway is losing its sense of humor

Motorists along N Dale Mabry Highway may not notice the closing of Carrollwood Used Furniture, but they may miss the store's quirky sign slogans.

The 25-foot-high sign at 9102 N Dale Mabry has become a small-time icon to people driving along the highway. The south side of the sign advertised furniture deals, but the north side offered a changing lineup of jokes and humorous sayings.

Now, owners of the store say their sometimes funny, usually pointless slogans will be no more.

Steve Oppenheim, who bought the store eight years ago with business partner Tom Till, has filed a permit with the county's occupational licensing office to officially close the store on May 3. While Oppenheim declined to talk about the shop's closure with The Times, some motorists say they will miss the commentaries.

In the past, Oppenheim said he received protest calls for such phrases as, "If you think women aren't explosive, try dropping one." Other one-liners included "My wife calls our waterbed the Dead Sea," and "10 men ear to ear is a wind tunnel."

Chris Cook of Northdale has been reading the sayings on his way to work at Price Waterhouse on W Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard for the past eight years.

"I liked most of them. Some are kind of stupid," he said. "It's usually something entertaining to look at while I'm stuck in traffic in the mornings."