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Notes From Chris are a series of troll posters in New York City inviting viewers to return to the same location at a later date. Due to the absurd and even nonsensical reasons for the viewer to return, the posters bear many similarities to the Safety Not Guaranteed personal ad. The series gained attention after copies of the signs appeared in Australia written by an anonymous person under the guise of “Craig.”
According to an interview in the Village Voice, New York City comedian Todd Lamb created the character Chris in 2008, intending to use the character’s posted notes as a way to grab the attention of pedestrians. Lamb created posters from Chris written in all-caps with blatant spelling errors, including strange invitations like visiting the library to fight an overdue book fine or inspecting his deceased cat. Lamb hosted his photos on his personal website, which included the first note put up at a bus stop in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
On February 20th, 2009, Notes From Chris was featured on the blog Rolling on Dubs. Lamb’s project did not receive major attention until his work was copied by an Australian who used the pseudonym “Craig.” On March 4th, 2009, a Something Awful thread was posted about a series of strange notes found in Melbourne, Australia, which advertised lampposts for sale, lost sweatbands and a half-done crossword puzzle up for grabs.
The photos were reshared on Neatorama and TIME Magazine before blogger Jake at Zoomdoggle exposed the photos as a rip-off of Lamb’s work on March 9th. “Craig,” who remained anonymous to avoid Australian fines, admitted to The Age and Weston Culture that he had stolen the idea from Lamb’s website, claiming he had not realized Lamb was the author of the notes.
After the incident with Craig, Notes From Chris appeared on a variety of humor and culture blogs including Web Urbanist, Do You Read Me Daily, Laughing Squid, MetaFilter, Standard Madness and Funny or Die. Lamb continues to post Chris’ notes around Manhattan, chronicling the new posters on his website. In July 2010, Lamb performed several of the notes during a standup routine.
Village Voice – Comedian Todd Lamb Talks About ‘Notes From Chris’ Project
Web Urbanist – Notes from Chris: Hilarious Experimental Urban Art
Laughing Squid – Bizarre Notes From Chris Posted Around NYC Are an Ongoing Prank
Standard Madness – Notes from Chris: The Most Hilarious Ten Prank Signs