I Saw the Sign


Recently on a trip to Bismarck I passed through more counties than I thought existed in 180 miles.   While driving I encountered many road signs, some for road construction, naturally, as a seasonal North Dakota inevitability.

I saw a variety of deer crossing signs and the thought struck me that a visitor from another planet or perhaps another country would look at that proud, prancing deer depicted on the bright yellow sign and think that perhaps there is a dance troupe or chorus line of stags nearby.

If we really want to designate the need for alertness for potential deer encounters, why doesn't the highway department make a sign with three or four does and fawns?   Rarely do we   see actual bucks cross the highway and if we do I don't think they dance across on two legs.

There's another sign I often think is amusing in a way; the blue one meant to advertise a particular rest area.   The one is question shows a picnic table and a large pine tree leaning down toward the table as if in a friendly gesture of kindness.

I remember studying for a driver's permit and the many different road signs we were supposed to memorize.   Some of these I've probably never encountered while driving, certain ones for load restrictions and towing.   I did see an interesting sign while living in the South, however.

On some rather hilly roads I often saw a “runaway truck ramp” sign.   This kind of thing on a busy highway makes you not only alert but rather edgy waiting for the runaway trucks to come careening down upon you.

I have had the misfortune many times of driving down a one way street the wrong way and seeing that sign announcing my shame.   I have to wonder, though, how many people really remember certain common signs from driver's ed class.

I say this because in my neighborhood there are those who routinely ignore stop signs or consider the stopping point to be a car length in front of the stop sign.   Others use yield signs as a weapon of advancement, causing others to yield out of fear for their lives.

I think sometimes we are a little over-signed in our world, but the important ones we surely need to watch a bit more closely or the last sign we see may be Emergency Room!