Has anyone else noticed the increasing number of stupid signs that seem to be sprouting everywhere? For example, there’s a sign posted along the northbound lanes of I-81 just before the Pennsylvania line that reads, “Caution: Low flying aircraft.” In what possible way does this sign help me if there’s not a second sign that tells me what I’m supposed to do about any low flying aircraft, stuck as I am in my car, in one of two lanes, heading straight up the road at 70 miles per hour?
“Look, honey, some low flying aircraft. Let me veer violently off the road and hop the General Lee over that chain link fence so we can cut through the corn field and avoid it.”
Similarly, there is a sign along the C & O Canal warning people about falling rocks. Yes, I know that a rock could dislodge and fall at the very minute that I’m strolling by, but
the odds are so astronomical that there may as well be a second sign that reads, “Watch for Wile E. Coyote dropping an Acme safe on your head.” Beneath the falling rock sign is a sign giving very explicit directions about how to safely ride a
bike along the newly reconstructed towpath. That’s highly ironic because three miles downstream exists no sign whatsoever warning people that they are about to step off the side of Dam #4 and into certain death in the churning water below. The National Park Service posts instructions on how to ride your bike, but it can’t put up a sign that reads, “Watch your step: We’re too stupid to erect a railing.”
Then there’s this useless admonition on the gas pumps at Sheetz: “Do not over fill your tank.” What does that even mean? It’s not possible to fill something past full. Translated into English, this sign would read, “Do not spill the gasoline,” which in itself is about as helpful as your mom telling you not to catch a cold.
Of course, the granddaddy of all useless signs is the traffic crossing signal. In fact, it’s worse than useless because of how often that little bent-over stick figure indicates that it’s safe to cross, only to suddenly stick up a big orange hand telling you not to as soon as you’re half way into the street. That stick figure has no clue about the traffic situation and I suspect that’s why he walks with that hunch. He probably followed his own advice and got run over in a cross walk. I’ll trust my own eyes before I trust the stick figure’s. Come to think of it, the stick figure has no eyes, which may explain his lack of solid guidance concerning when it’s safe to cross the street.
We have so much information coming at us these days that it would be truly helpful to delete the information that is truly useless. And I haven’t even mentioned the sign, posted in Braille, at the drive-through window of a local bank. Think about that one for a second.
Seen any stupid signs lately? If so, let us know. Feel free to paste a photo in the comment box.