Posts Tagged ‘signs’
Nashville has the same announcement road signs that most big cities have. We have the ‘Tune your radio to XXXX for important updates when lights are flashing’ signs. Everyone has those. But I don’t know a single person who has ever checked that station. Read more »
The other day, while driving down the freeway, I was attacked by lava rocks. Fist- and softball-sized stones bounced more than a story high on the blacktop then rained nearly straight down on those of us jammed together at 4:30 trying to stay ahead of rush hour.
It took me a moment to locate the source of the bouncing rocks since I was very busy trying not to get my windshield cracked. I finally saw the dumptruck racing up the fast lane a handful of cars in front of me. It had no cover on the back and rocks were flying out of it in random intervals.
Figuring the safest place was in front of the trail of projectiles, I raced past the truck. As I passed, I saw the sign on the back:
STAY BACK 200 FEET. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OBJECTS FALLING OUT OF TRUCK.
What!!?? This truck was not just a hazard, but actually likely to kill someone. And they aren’t responsible? This is not to mention that you can’t possibly read the sign telling you to stay back 200 feet from anything less than 40 feet away. Since there’s clearly a sign with a warning on the back, you are enticed to get close and read what it tells you. Once you get close enough you can read that you just entered the danger zone and – though the truck company and driver are not responsible – you are about to die.
By the time Sis and I had pulled into Tucson (driving from Nashville), we were punchy to say the least. We had taken a route through Phoenix where we stopped at a Coffee Bean and found out that you can now get a Mocha Iced Blended in the ungodly size of 32 ounces. They really should just ask you, ‘Would you like that small, large or diabetes sized?’ Though we tried to drink the whole things, we just couldn’t. Honestly, just lifting a cup that size was problematic – they didn’t even fit in the cup holders.
So you can see that we were high on sugar, hope and the lingering smell of Oklahoma when we passed “Calle Sin Nombre”. For those of you who passed high school Spanish class, this is clearly ‘Street With No Name’. We laughed at the irony of this being posted on the standard green street sign, as it obviously WAS the name of the street.
We were still laughing as we drove past “Agua Verde”. ‘Green Water’? Is this really something you want? Was the author or town developer making a statement about this street? Should you avoid it? We didn’t know.
But, being clearly ridiculous, we started making up our own street names. We wondered what you could get away with if you simply named it in Spanish. (Think back to the movie L.A. Story, where everyone wants a seat at the new French restaurant “Li-Di-Oh”. When they arrive you see the name is actually “L’Idiot”.)
A few weekends ago, Sis and I traveled to Arizona for the Tucson Festival of Books. Between shipping rates and storage, and the fact that we’d had things damaged or lost in shipping before, we decided that the easiest thing was to drive. Yes, from Nashville to Tucson. (As you can tell from previous Smart Chickens entries as far back as “BEA or bust” and “Smells like Oklahoma”, we are drivers.)
We learned several important lessons right off the bat. One – GPS systems can vary quite a bit in not only how much time they tell you a trip will take, but in which route is best. We still can’t figure out why Sis’s GPS wanted us to travel I-40 both ways. Two – check the weather all along your route, not just the beginning and end points. It was 65 degrees in Tennessee when we left for a 75 degree weekend in Tucson. Along the way we hit flash flooding, severe thunderstorms and snow – none of which were we prepared for.
And we saw a bunch of signs that tried to point us in the right direction.
The first was a standard “Road may be icy” sign. It had hinges to fold it up in the off season and – as it was 65 according to the car – someone had clearly forgotten to put the sign away. Seeing the sign kicked off a monologue in my head: “Stupid sign. Sure, the roads are a bit wet, but in order to be ICY, there would have had to have been several feet of snow lingering here for days . . . weeks even. There’s nothing here—“
At that exact moment I took a turn and encountered approximately three feet of snow. Everywhere.
Yes, the apocalypse is upon us. Soonish. I’m not sure yet exactly when it will happen, but I have been seeing the leading edge, and it is coming at us at an increasing speed. What I find most interesting about these signs of ruination is that they are actually ‘signs’ – or more symbols. No, the water isn’t going to run red, and I don’t foresee frogs falling from the heavens, but I do envision the collapse of society.
Here’s what I saw that made me start wondering . . .
My son wrote a word document to help him deliver a presentation on a historical figure. While he worked on the family computer, I was in the next room and checked in periodically. At one point, I suggested he save his document. He didn’t know how, so I talked him through it . . . or I tried. It sparked an argument that went like this:
“I can’t save, there’s no disk to click on.”
“Yes there is. It’s blue and it’s about the third icon in from the left.”
“No, there’s no disk there.”
I finally put down my own work and came in and pointed at the blue disk that was third in from the left, just like I’d said. My son then gave me a dirty look and responded with “That’s not a disk.”
And he was right. The little, squarish, blue icon for ‘save’ is of a three-n-a-quarter floppy. He’d never seen one. After blinking repeatedly, and feeling really old (because I can remember five-n-a-half inch floppies, too!) I ran to get him one to show him . . .and couldn’t find any. We don’t have any in the house. I think there are a few out in the garage, but I had to search the six computers in the house (yes, six) and only found two that even had a place to put a three-n-a-quarter inch floppy. That little blue icon, with the read-window and the sticker to write on, is no longer what a disk is.