I certainly didn’t start this trip looking for signs. But they seem to find me. Great metaphors; mixed metaphors; misspellings; endorsements; cajoling; warnings and inspiration from every corner. We all have become accustomed to getting our news and advertising electronically, but as long as cars, trucks, motorcycles (and bikes) travel our highways and byways, there’s still an opportunity for signs to sell, amuse, and puzzle.
The best signs make us smile and curious, like this one. And then if we’re curious…those marketers just might have us.
I stopped at the convenience store for some much needed Gatorade in 89 degree Florida-panhandle weather. I chatted up a local who explained that, “Yes, indeed, those fiddlers can get those worms hopping straight out of the ground. One guy puts a stick in the ground and starts sawing across the top with another stick and gets vibrations in the ground that cause the worms to start hopping.” While he makes his music, another guy “loads those worms into a sack as fast as he can, barely keeping up with those jumping worms. And they make good money with those worms for fish bait!”
He then launched into a story about the Rattlesnake Rodeo in Alabama. Can’t believe I missed that. My fellow cyclist, Bill, and I had to head east otherwise we’d still be there listening to this fellow. As we rode off, he told us, “I told my doctor I’m only allergic to one thing: my ex-wife,” and he kept talking!
Some signs need no interpretation. (And we did finally leave Texas!)
Direct from Florida. (Know your demographics:))
Other signs are clear as mud. This sign was at a school bus stop. (Can you figure out the missing word? This must be practice for the Florida standardized tests.)
What?? Check out these curious signs.
How about this? Is that a gopher?
I biked by this sign in Alabama and turned around to check for cars passing and noticed that the back side had a different message.
Some offer unintentional services (exterminating SUNSHINE and pests?)
Some get the message across but won’t win any spelling bees.
There are some signs that simply encourage good eating and drinking. I like these…
A sack of crawfish with a tank of gas? – Why not!
Straight from Pensacola, Florida (biking through town after a record 25 inch rainfall).
Some signs tempt, especially with their convenient hours.
Some signs haven’t been updated in 39 years.
Sometimes you don’t need a sign to make you smile: Lou’s 80th birthday!
Lou’s secret? He lives by this motto every day!
Hi, Anne –
When we visited in February you mentioned keeping a gratitude journal. Your posting today reminded me that shortly after I returned home from Boston, I thought about supplementing the daily gratitude practice with an observation of the most humorous or ironic or absurd sighting. What prompted this was that while I was sitting at a stop light I saw this enormous concrete truck, the kind that slowly spins while it travels to keep the concrete well-mixed. The truck had been painted a bright pink, and on the driver’s door was a “pink ribbon” for breast cancer. Not often we see such an icon springing up from a field we think of as male-dominated. It was so refreshing and got me to think about whether the owner had a close family member affected by breast cancer.
I know your trip is almost over, so want you to know how much I have appreciated the chance to share your trip. As you say, the signs found you…and through you they found us. Thank you.
So, do you now have a tattoo? Did Bill ride on a Bike Friday the whole way? Who is on the recumbent. You are truly an Annemal!
Florida. That is amazing! Have loved watching all the stops. So glad that you’re still pedaling away. Keep going!