Sussex residents have heard this joke before.
Water tower painters knocked off for the day Wednesday with the old lettering partially covered. They left the last part of the village name - sex - uncovered, leaving most residents with a morning chuckle.
"I'm sure the painters had a good time with that," said Village Administrator Jeremy Smith. "For whatever reason, they decided to stop when they got to those three letters."
Images of the sex-emblazoned water tower made the social rounds all morning, until the painters, with Utility Services Co. Inc. of Georgia, got on with their work. The word was fully covered by late morning, Smith said.
Water tower painters - from a different company - had their fun with the same tower at Richmond Road and North Corporate Circle when it was last painted in the summer of 1996. The tower is easily seen by motorists traveling north and south on County Highway J.
"People were calling, saying it was inappropriate," Chris Swartz, who was village manager at the time, said in a 1996 Journal Sentinel story by reporter Bob Helbig.
On Thursday, there were more chuckles than complaints, Smith said.
"Most people laughed and thought it was funny," he said. "There are a lot of bigger, more pressing issues in this world than those three letters."