John Mellish often uses the sign at his used car dealership to give people a laugh as they drive along P.E.I.'s Highway 2.
But over the weekend, Mellish sparked an international uproar with messages social media users are calling sexist.
Charlottetown entrepreneur Chelsea Ling posted this picture to Facebook on Saturday, of what she called an "obvious put-down" of women.
"I just want to point out to people that it's not the one joke," Ling told The Huffington Post Canada. "It's that sexist jokes like that are so ingrained in our society that we don't understand it's a problem."
The sign was up until Sunday morning, when it came time for Mellish Motors to change it.
By then Mellish had heard people were talking about his sign on Facebook. But instead of putting up a less offensive message, he posted this one, in an effort to jumpstart a conversation about social media.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) January 19, 2016
"We decided we would put a little bit of kindling on the fire there and see where social media takes this," Mellish told HuffPost Canada. "And we would bite the bullet if we had to."
But that wasn't the last thing he had to say on the topic. Mellish Motors later displayed this one.
— Krystalle Ramlakhan (@KrystalleTR) January 18, 2016
Asked why he had to post such messages to start a conversation about social media, Mellish said he wasn't targeting women.
"I took it from another site, I read it, I laughed, I thought it was cute," he said.
Asked to explain how he wasn't targeting women, he responded, "Can [a] guy be a drama queen?"
Mellish added that he's also used his sign to make jokes about men. One of them said, "Used cars and husbands. Both good-looking on the outside, but issues with both."
That logic likely won't fly with social media users who found the sign(s) offensive.
— Mededitor (@Mededitor) January 19, 2016
— Gail Rhyno (@gailrhyno) January 18, 2016
Come on. Jesus.
— Merry Tyler More (@MerryTylerMore) January 19, 2016
— Shamontiel (@Maroonsista) January 19, 2016
Mellish said most of the calls he's received about his sign have been positive, although he did report one threatening response to the police.
He wasn't sure whether he plans on posting more messages about women in future.
"I've probably got 15 little notes on my table," he said. "That's enough to carry us a month or a month and a half, and I've probably got 150 inside my office."
Also on HuffPost:
Beware of dudes hanging out drinking coffee... sexist behavior thrives on caffeine.
Note the coffee cups. Now do you believe us?
Look at this douche, just laying around while that woman cleans the apartment he's clearly squatting in. She should throw those boots in the pool that's probably out back.
Oh, just your garden variety sexist picking out which woman to sleep with and never call again tonight.
Ladies be taking too much time at the printer, amiright?
This guy feels he has the right to groom any woman within prodding distance.
Ugh, guys with their sexy pig shirts. So gross. And sexist.
Here are a few shots of women being sexist. As if that exists.
The horror on the guy in the background's face kind of says it all here.
This is a trick photo: the guy is still the one being sexist for assuming that his boss doesn't have the strength to give him proper shiatsu. What a dick.
We don't even know what's going on here, but these guys are probably in an improv group.
Something very sexist is going on here, but we aren't sure who is at fault.
The expression on this woman's face lets us know that all is fine here. Whatever is going on, it's consensual.