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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wacky Wednesday #46--Follow the Signs

Follow the signs. Sounds easy, right? Or not.

What if the signs all conflict with one another?

Today’s costume idea came about when I started noticing how many different traffic signs are posted around the city. I began to think about how fun it would be to create a costume in which all the signs were in conflict with other signs. Sometimes this feels true when I’m out driving.

Perhaps the seeds of this costume date back to a sign I saw twenty years ago. It looked like this:

(photo credit: Terry S. Hale)

I was delighted by it, because I’m an expressive person and I use exclamation points a lot. Turns out this sign alerts drivers that they should use caution ahead because the road presents extra challenge. (I still think this sign should be used to show that enthusiastic people are up ahead!!!!!!)

May I point out the irony in the following idea? Some signs are so long and detailed that instead of increasing safety, they may decrease it. Prime examples are the signs that say something like “No right turn weekdays between 7 and 10 am, and 3 and 5pm.” Hello—that takes a second or two to read. I’m supposed to process that while also making critical driving choices? Do you want me to read or drive? These safety-enhancing signs are distracting me from driving.
This costume idea gained momentum a couple of weeks ago when I found something next to the dumpster at my youngest child’s school. There were four giant octagons of cardboard, and two of them insisted I take them home. I walked home with them perched atop my head and as Melody pointed out, my shadow looked like Mary Poppins, floating down with her umbrella. (Quite true.) These octagons looked just like giant STOP signs and I knew they could become props for this week’s creation.

And while we’re on this topic, what’s up with the pedestrian crossing signs?

I don’t know anyone who walks with their back arm bent at a right angle. And what’s with the lack of neck, hands and feet? I assume these signs originally were painted using stencils. I know that you have to have breaks in the pattern so that the stencil doesn’t fall apart. But please—it’s 2016. I don’t think they’re using stencils anymore to paint these signs. We have robotic machines that can do surgery, and we can’t get a pedestrian walk sign with a neck and some feet?

Alternate titles for this post:

·         Mixed Messages

·         Miss Guided

·         Signs of Confusion

Whether you find traffic signs helpful or distracting, I hope you got a kick out of today’s theme. I’ll be back next week with another fun costume. Til then be safe, have fun, and watch for signs…


  1. We need you every morning out in front of school.

    1. Well, I'm there, but sadly I'm usually 5 minutes late...

  2. Watch for signs! That's for sure! I can't get the reading/driving skill down when there are more than 2 sentences! And I love exclamation points also :)

    1. HI Christie,

      Thanks! Glad it's not just me. Maybe I'll sit outside the supermarket with a petition supporting simple signs.

  3. STOP in the Name of LOVE!!! That's what popped in my mind immediately lol.


    1. Me, too! I almost put that in the blog...

  4. Dear Sarah, Jesus wanted all of us to be aware of, "the signs of the times." There are all kinds of signs in this world. Something to think about! Love, Aunt Eileen

  5. Oh, good! He has impeccable taste, obviously...