Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sign, sign everywhere a sign

Sign, sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this don't do that can't you read the sign?
As you drive down roads from your neighborhood to where you work or play or visit, you're bombarded by road signs of every shape, size, color, and message. As I was driving home one weary evening in stop-and-go rush hour traffic due to construction signs moving oncoming traffic from many lanes to fewer, I had a 70's mental moment and I recalled the Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs" refrain. Of course my sign pictures are different from the signs they sang about, but it's essentially the same bloody principal.

I've long since passed the point where I'm a long-haired freaky person (a lot of my hair isn't there any more), but the message in the lyrics still resonates down the decades. In fact there are so many signs along the roads telling me what to do or not to do and threatening me with dire consequences if I refuse to comply that it's a wonder I even bother to get out on the road at all anymore. Couple that with the monetary costs to buy a car, fill it with gas, insure it, and to keep it repaired and in good working order. Then there's the tag and title fees every year and the daily tolls just for the privilege of driving on certain roads in Orlando. And then there's the strategic cost of using foreign oil and the environmental cost of belching unneeded CO2 (my "carbon footprint") from the moment I start the engine until I stop and shut 'er down.

I'll take more as time goes along. I haven't even scratched the surface. And then there's the songs FMEB was singing about. And how about all those massive outdoor billboards...

Right Turn 15 M.P.H.STOPSPEED LIMIT 45
NO LITTERINGNO OUTLETSPEED HUMPS AHEAD
Crossing AHEADSchool Crossing HereDO NOT ENTER
PHOTO ENFORCEDSPEED LIMIT 45RED LIGHT RUNNING FINE
Bus StopCircuit City Going Out Of BusinessROAD WORK AHEAD

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