Signs of the times

Aside from finding out there’s nothing really wrong with you, the best thing about going to the doctor is you get a chance to read the kinds of magazines you’d love to subscribe to, if only to put them on your own coffee table to look like you’re an intellectual. On a recent dental trip, I had the privilege to indulge myself in Archeology Magazine. It brought back memories of when I was a child and wanted to be an archeologist. It was a short-lived aspiration. As soon as I learned those folks often lived for months on end in tents with no “real” toilet, I moved on to another career goal.

One of the reasons why I still enjoy the study of archeology is because of the way modern historians interpret artifacts, texts and even graffiti on ruins to learn about a society. For example, there is plenty of graffiti in the ruins of Pompeii to suggest that not only were the inhabitants there on the lascivious side, they enjoyed their drink and defecated just about anywhere.

I don’t remember reading anything on how archeologists interpreted road signs in ancient Rome, but on a recent trip, I couldn’t help but wonder what post-apocalyptic historians might deduce from our street signs of today.

For example, there is a street sign near my neighborhood that says: Opposing traffic has extended green. I think I almost ran the red light there a few times before I figured out what it meant. What will historians think it means? Will they wonder if we met up at that intersection to have pro vs con debates and the opposing teem gets a longer time on the grassy area next to it to speak?

After seeing this sign, will they think we’re a careless lot:

I rather think someone in the factory got it wrong. Shouldn’t it be Done More Drinking Street? Will historians think the sign maker was drunk when he made it?

Or, will they think the deer were once literate when they stumble upon these signs:

There were all sorts of those as we drove through up-state New York. Sometimes the deer crossing would be for the next 3 miles at others for the next 10. How do the deer know how large their cross walk is? Do they get in trouble if they cross before the sign? If it says Deer Crossing Next 1 mile, do deer gangs challenge new members to walk across at 1.1 mile?

My favorite sign of all times is one we saw in a window:

Which, if I were an historian stumbling upon this amidst the ruins of our culture, I would shake my head in awe over that fact that we knew just how messed up we were.

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5 Comments

Filed under Chaos, Commentary, TASFUIL

5 responses to “Signs of the times

  1. LOL! I love the deer signs! I know every province we drive through the look of the deer changes. In Quebec he is dainty, Ontario a bull, and Alberta it’s every man for himself :O

  2. Lisa, I love this post! I too love archeology. I am fascinated whenever there is a dig going on somewhere in the world. Even if it is in my own backyard.

    I am originally from Philly and I still get confused now that I live in NJ. How is it possible to build so many cul de sacs and dead ends? I lived in area where you went around the block and could always find your way out. The city of Philadelphia is mostly on a grid so it’s hard to get lost.

    My favorite signs are the ones that have five different signs hanging together with several road junctures and arrows point in two different directions under the same road sign. I had to shake my head. And I still get lost.

    I often wonder after we are gone, if some future archeologist will find these road signs and shake there head as well. *well obviously this society was confused as to which way it was going.* Not that an archeologist would find our road signs interesting but who knows.

    • I love those, too! There’s one on the northbound side of I-95 in south Florida that you’re supposed to read while driving with lunatics all around you at breakneck speed to figure out which way to go. The arrow on it has 6 points. It’s so ridiculous you have to laugh as you slam into the car in front of you.

  3. Oh silly me..I thought the deer sign was the entrance to Stag’s Leap Winery……

    spread the humor:charlywalker,wordpress.com

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