I have an obsession with signs. Maybe it is because I just plain like to read and I will read anything that has words in it. (Okay, how many of you have read the ingredients on the shampoo or toothpaste because you were stuck in the bathroom and you were bored and you needed to read something?) Maybe I am always looking for meaning. Or hidden meaning. Wherever I go. I think I drive Booth, my husband, crazy when he is driving. I read every sign I see out loud. On the side of the road. On buildings. On trucks. I saw a truck bearing the sign for "The Wetter Water." Wetter water? Whoa. I had no idea water can be wetter. Apparently it is so. I learn things from signs.
Otherwise I'd be Beyond Lost. Not that being lost is a bad thing.
This past July I did what I call my "July-Brary Tour." I drove 1200 miles and spoke in fourteen libraries in the North Central Washington Library District. It was an amazing trip. It is amazingly beautiful country. Warm, welcoming people and abundant fresh fruit greeted me every step of the way. And of course I saw signs. Fortunately I had my camera with me.
Mazama, Washington. It is much better than the usual: "Slow Children." That sign has always bothered me. Why are the children slow? Of course that makes them targets on the road. Sometimes the sign says: "Slow Children Playing." Well I hope they are playing. They are still children after all.
This sign is truthful. There are pets, children and wildlife and NONE are to spare. I especially hate it when snakes and turtles are hit by cars. They need signs, too.
Signs seem to be everywhere, though...
Here is a bumper sticker that I saw on the July-Brary tour in the library parking lot, which was also the town hall parking lot, and the police headquarters parking lot in Tonasket, Washington:
I was especially thrilled to see the two young women who got back into that car just as I was leaving to head to the next town, Omak. Signs say a lot about the people who post them.
Guess who posted that sign? A librarian! This hilarious sign was next to the check-out desk at the lovely Moses Lake Library. I love a librarian with a sense of humor. Lord knows, they need it dealing with the general public and unattended children all day.
But I have a confession to make: Sometimes my brain misreads signs. I don't know why it does this. Could be a "sign" I'm becoming dyslexic? For example: There is a sign near my post office that says, "Ballard Dental Arts." I don't read it that way. I see "Ballard Denial Arts." I've always wondered just what kind of art that would be, the art of denial. Maybe they need to choose a different font so that the "t" is more pronounced.
Today, to top it all off, I was driving to the gas station, and I saw a sandwich board sign on the corner of the street. I thought it said, "Singles Vacations." I thought to myself, "what an odd place to promote that sort of thing," due to the fact that the sign was sitting in front of a Rite Aid Drugstore. Then I looked again. The sign actually said, "Shingles Vaccinations." That made much more sense. But truth be told, I prefer to read signs my own way. Sometimes they even lead to ideas for stories, books, poems... or they just make me want to take a picture so I can smile and remember a few words that broke the monotony and seriousness of life...
What signs do you like to read?