If you happened to be driving past the Willy Street gas station in Milwaukee this week you may have come across a sign that read: “DON’T DIE A VIRGIN, TERRORISTS ARE UP THERE WAITING FOR YOU”
These 11 words — intended to be a harmless joke — are creating quite a stir as some find the sign to be “just a little too edgy.” Now the gas station known for posting quirky sayings year-round is receiving heavy criticism for its new post.
The gas station owner wasn’t the author of the sign. It was the man who lives right next door — Grant Zimmerman — who has been posting messages on the board for about two years. Other signs penned by the witty Zimmerman include, “This is a private sign please do not read,” or puns like “Frog parking only all others toad.”
But this particular joke — which has made its way around sites like Facebook and Tumblr — has received a substantial amount of backlash. The gas station owner, who had loved the sign when it was first put up, has since told Zimmerman it has to go. When asked about the controversy, Zimmerman told WISC-TV news:
I’m not really mad. I just dont understand why someone would complain about that.
Although it was the Zimmerman who put the sign up, he wasn’t the original author of the terrorist joke. A number of comedians have taken it upon themselves to give the old “72 virgins in paradise” joke a new spin, including B.J Novak and Michael Palascak.