Saturday, 22 August 2009

Sign of the Times

The urge to put up signs everywhere is now totally out of control: the warning sign, the laying-down-the-law sign, the no-responsibility sign, the do-not-leave-your valuables sign.

Walk around town and we are constantly accused of planning an act of either outrage or stupidity: No Speeding, No Stealing, No Mashing Your Face Against this Hotplate. And don't even think of smoking.

Let your eyes wander for a moment and someone will very soon be barking orders at you - right down to the instruction that you should wash your hands after using the toilet.

Sydney's councils are like a garrulous uncle who can't leave anything left unsaid. There is no activity so unlikely that the local council does not feel the need to expressly prohibit it. One signpost near me goes to the trouble of banning horse riding, as if the municipality of Willoughby is routinely disturbed by the cries of mounted riders in full pursuit of a fox through the middle of the Westfield food court.

Next they'll erect signs banning falconry, witch-dunking and turd-throwing. Well, you never know when a craze might break out.

Nearly all signs state the bleeding obvious. "No Smoking" notices are a good example. I'm not a smoker but I'm sure the smokers have by now got the message: they are not allowed to smoke anywhere. It would be more economical to put up signs at the two or three locations where smoking is still allowed. I'm imagining a windy hillock located just outside Crookwell, with a lone sign saying "Yes Smoking".

Talking about lone signs, legend has it there's a sign somewhere in the middle of a field in Ireland that says "Please don't throw rocks at this sign". I'm hardly surprised. It may be surrealistic - wonderfully Irish in it's droll wit - but how different is it to the signs on Sydney buses which give elderly people advise on how to ride a bus?

Senior Citizens, via the "Senior Citizens Travel Tips" display, are now given advice on how to catch a bus. According to the sign, they should wait at a bus stop and when the right bus comes along they should - now pay attention here - signal to the driver that they wish him to stop.

You may think that in their 60 or 70 years on the planet they may have heard rumours of this "signal the driver" technique. But no, they need to be told. The only problem is you only get to read the sign once you are on the bus, so it's a mystery how the daffy old fools ever managed to get the bastard to stop. Maybe they just copied younger folk.

Further "Senior Citizen Travel Tips" are available on board to guide future trips. Tips such as "Stand back from the curb as the bus pulls in" And "Wait for the bus to stop before boarding". Thank God they mentioned that. I can't tell you how sick I am of the sight of senior citizens hurling themselves at the side of buses in George Street without waiting for them to even slow down. They land - splat - against the side, much like Coyote in a Roadrunner cartoon. If that warning sign can save just one life.....

Well folks today is my one year blog anniversary. One year ago I sat down at my computer and decided to start a blog. If anyone had told me then, that a year later, I would meet so many beautiful souls, I would have scoffed at them. Bless you dear friends who live inside my computer, I hold a very special place in my heart for all of you.

BTW my first post was very enlightening....LOL!!!

PS - I was just reading through some of my other posts and quite enjoyed what I wrote in this one called "Answers, Questions and maybe Wisdom"


Loving Annie said...

Happy Anniversary Peggy !

Signs are mainly for those who do not use their conscious awareness to figure things out for themselves. Lots of times they involve good behavior, respect for others or their property and common sense.
They seem nonsensical to anybody who obeys because they are obvious.

Jan said...

What a fun post—and thought provoking. I've noticed these signs too and, actually, found so many ridiculous ones that I started jotting down what they said, thinking they'd make a great post someday. Well, you have done it for me! Hooray!

Congratulations on one heart-filled year of blogging. Blog on with blessings from me!

Shannanigans said...

You are freaking hilarious, and I totally hear you about the signs. We have one in the bathroom at work that tells us how to wash our hands. OK, if your employees dont know how to wash their hands, you have bigger problems then worrying about our personal hygiene.

If stuff like that drives you mental, you will probably like
This Blog

Christine said...

Happy Blog Anniversary Peggy!

I tend to read any and all signs, however ridiculous! (just in case)

Butler and Bagman said...

Very very funny post. Do not throw rocks at this sign. I think I want to put up a sign that says, "This is not a sign." Nice post

Poetikat said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, PEGGY! I'm so glad you decided a year ago to take the plunge and join the blog bandwagon.
I love the starling(?) at the top of the page.

Many happy returns!


Caroline said...

Happy anniversary Peggy! Can you believe it's been a year? I can relate about the wonderful souls you meet in blogland. I am so fortunate to know you and have gained so much from your words of wisdom!

Cheers to you!

P.S. funny post today...

HappyOrganist said...

I LOVE that sign! ;D

McMGrad89 said...

Great minds think alike, I must say. I have been driving back and forth between home and school and there is a new sign in the construction area. It says "Do Not Pass." Every time I pass it, I ask myself, "Does that mean don't pass that sign?" If so, how will I ever get down that road. It reminds me of the lather, rinse repeat conundrum you find on the back of shampoo bottles. When do you stop repeating?

Happy anniversary, friend.

June Saville said...

I let my own blog anniversaries go by without recognition - a mistake I think. Anyway, well done you!
June also in Oz

GWEN said...


Roban said...

I had to read the last bit about those seniors hurling themselves at the buses to Hannah.... I can see them now!

We learn as teachers to restate things as positives. Instead of "no talking," we say "remain quiet." Instead of "no running," we say (quite loudly) "WALK!" Kind of like your "smoking allowed" idea.

Hannah is into your playlist now. She's made me stop twice to listen to two different songs.

I've never known anyone who liked as much of the same music as I do... as you. I can listen to your playlist all day. (I think I've told you that, oh, maybe 20 times!).

Happy anniversary! I'm so glad we were able to extend our friendship from scrapblog to our personal blogs. I know I've gotten to know you, Annemarie, Wendy, and Julie so much better.


jenX said...

When I saw the pic on this post I immediatley though, "My memory is literally on a memory stick." LOL!!

One year! I thought when we connected you'd been blogging for ages. You're such an intelligent writer, Peg. I have so many takeaways from your writing. Here's to another a year.

Linda Pendleton said...

Great post. And perfect sign and song to go with it. Isn't it interesting how we have to be told everything to do over and over. LOL

Congratulations on your blog anniversary. Time sure goes fast, doesn't it?

AVT Coach said...

Congratulations on your year post! We began near the same time and it has been a delightful year to know you, read what you have to say and share life with you! I laughed at each example on this post of those rediculous signs. I love to watch for them on road trips, they are good blog material. I found a blog that has some really funny pictures of signs you might like!

Anonymous said...

Firstly quickly a year has gone. It takes some determination to maintain a blog for all that time - so well done.
Secondly -I absolutely agree with you. There are far too many signs all over the place -here in G.B. too. It's not called the 'nanny (ing) state' for nothing! Just too many rules and regulations and people telling others how to live their lives. In fact my son (when much younger) and a friend once called a neighbour 'Mr. Rules and Regulations' (not to his face, I might add.) To be fair -I think they had strayed onto his drive with a skateboard so they probably deserved a ticking off.
Keep up the interesting posts into your second year.
Oh -as I'm in G.B. and you are in Australia can I just mention the ASHES?!!! CJ

Anonymous said...

Heeeheeee! Consider this. That old lady you see sitting at the bus stop has actually been there all her life, watching buses come and go and not quite getting on one... I love seeing signs - cos then I can actively disobey them (!) The one I find most offensive is actually a recorded announcement. It blares out on the London Underground. 'Please do not give money to beggars'. What a bloody cheek! I'll decide what I do with my money thank you very much! It always has me diving into my pocket to see what change I have to give the next busker or beggar I see!!
Here's another crazy London one - you're not allowed to wash yourself using the sink in a public toilet - what the ?????

Congrats on your anniversary! I for one dearly value your friendship – as well as your very entertaining blog posts! And may there be many more....

TheChicGeek said...

Happy Anniversary, Peggy! One Year! How great :) You are so right about all the beautiful souls we meet online...such a joy and a treasure in our lives. You are definitely one of those treasures :)

You have me giggling over the true. I especially like the idea of putting up "yes, smoking" would save a bundle...mind you, I'm not a smoker but the idea is comical to me :)
Have a Great Day, Peggy, my dear friend and Happy, Happy Anniversary! I'm so glad you are here :)

miruspeg said...

I LOVE you guys who live inside my computer.

You are the most amazing friends!

You enhance my well-being.

Bless you all.
Peggy xxxxx

Mike Smith said...

Happy anniversary. More power to your keyboard!