To rant or not to rant?
It is impossible to travel anywhere without being confronted by street art, graffiti and advertising. They are often real works of art but sometimes they can be downright ugly and an assault on the senses. Then of course there are the countless signs or instructions extolling us to do this or do that. OR, conversely, DON’T DO THIS OR DON’T DO THAT.
This article will be a mixture of a celebration of a few of the best and, as is the want of this author, bemoaning the worst! It will also be more pictorial this week, for rather obvious reasons, given the title.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
I’d found my nirvana in San Carlos, the perfect one horse town away from the usual tourist bullshit on the southern banks of Lago de Nicaragua. I walked past this stunning wall mural numerous times on five consecutive days without seeing it. Dah! Then, on day five I was forced to retreat into a narrow alley to enable a truck to pass down the narrow road. When I finally emerged I saw for the first time this glorious mural facing me in all its glory. It was so long, relative to the width of the street, I simply hadn’t seen it.
Stop bombarding me!
As alluded to at the beginning no blog of mine is complete without a cantankerous tirade. I HATE TOO MANY INSTRUCTIONS.
While in the merchant navy I was on one ship with a captain who insisted on labelling everything on the navigating bridge. It became absurd, particularly as each sign was on a scrappy piece of paper.
I was third mate and together with the second mate had formed a mutual detestation of the captain. As partners in crime we decided to “help” the odious captain’s quest. We started labelling everything obvious. This included; the wheel, the compass, the port and starboard bridge doors, the radar, etc.
Because of the over abundance of signs it was several days before the captain actually noticed our additions. He went ballistic. The second mate and I pleaded our innocence but to no avail. We got shit. But it was worth it.
Oxymorons are alive and thriving.
On the second Rainbow Warrior (alas recycled into razor blades) there was a continual problem with the toilets. They were always getting blocked. Every change of engineers and captains brought new theories and instructions on how to keep the toilets functioning.
These instructions would generally contradict the previous entreaties on how to operate the flush system. The previous instructions would be consigned to the garbage bin -recycled of course and most definitely not down the toilet, heaven forbid!
Of course this change of orders didn’t always go without a hitch and one day I was standing there going about my business and staring at me was a sign taped to the wall extolling me to flush for a MAXIMUM of ten seconds.
Immediately above this proclamation was another imploring me to flush for a MINIMUM of 30 seconds. What the fuck.
OK, back to some positives.
Now, this one is one instruction I can agree to being displayed – no argument really.
But segues perfectly into probably the country displaying some of the best and worst of visual candy – the USA.
And some of the puns are priceless
OK, not my cup of tea but still funny and clever.
Thank god for skool!
I came across this tank honouring the US military. What struck me was the juxtaposition of celebrating the mega trillions of dollars spent on defence to the apparent lack of funds available for education. Certainly seems the case with this particular sign writer.
Even in these strange times hidden signs can surprise us.
Came across this just a few days ago while moving furniture. I was immediately reminded of that Gary Larson cartoon “Midvale school for the gifted.”
Surely there’s somebody out there who can enlighten me?
This sign is situated beside a roadside parking space in West Wales. It is the only sign visible in any direction. I found it about 5 years ago. I went past it a few days ago and it is still there acting out its ‘temporariness!’ It is one of the more intriguing and interesting signs I have come across.
Curiouser and curiouser
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
For years I have been particularly irked by the sign “STRICTLY PRIVATE.” I totally get the private bit. But strictly, really? What do the two bring to each other, apart from annoying the fuck out of me? It says to me: “A jerk lives here with a narrow minded fortress mentality.”
I feel like amending these signs to something like: “Unconditionally, unequivocally and utterly strictly private” to highlight the absurdity. Except that the word ‘unequivocally’ would probably be lost on the sign’s owner!