While I was out and about today I passed by another road sign that gave me pause. I didn’t actually go on pause, because that would be dangerous while driving. I simple accepted the pause and pondered it. I read the sign and said to myself, “Bob, you should blog about that one.” It’s kind of odd because my name is Marcus. That’s probably why I didn’t bother responding.
The sign said, “Be Prepared to Stop”. This got me thinking—perhaps too much. But I do that a lot.
What is going on here, on this particular road, that I should be issued this cautionary warning? If you are driving a vehicle, whether it is a full sized truck or a smart car, you probably should be prepared to stop during every second of your entire trip. You should not rely on the occasional road side sign to suggest an intelligent, well-thought-out, course of action. You should, in fact, be prepared to stop as soon as you begin you journey—from the first moment you take your foot off the brake pedal all the way to the point you put the car back into park.
Be prepared to stop.
Seriously this is some good advice. Perhaps this sign should be posted in other locations where people tend to congregate. How about at the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet? Be prepared to stop. You are about to feel like hell.
The girl scouts should post this sign on all of their boxes of cookies. Be prepared to stop. You are about to eat an entire sleeve of thin mints. Twice.
But then I was thinking that maybe this seemingly random sign of good advice could possibly be sending the wrong message. What if someone was driving along thinking about a major life decision? Perhaps this person was thinking about jumping into an opportunity of a lifetime, but was hesitating because of an irrational fear of the risks associated with chasing his lifelong dream. He looks up. He sees the sign. Be prepared to stop. He then cancels the whole concept and continues his mundane life of working in a dark office cubicle.
The sign needs to have additional signs to clarify how to handle all of the possible scenarios that may be in play.
Be Prepared to Stop. Always When Driving. With Caution While Eating. Never When Chasing Your Dreams.
Maybe there wasn’t enough room on the telephone pole. I can’t remember because I didn’t stop. But I was prepared to stop.
Be prepared to stop, and then buy my book.
When you approach the end of a construction zone, you will often see a sign that reads ‘End Road Work’. I know this because the road just outside of my development has been under construction for about a year now. So when I pull into my neighborhood every day, I am greeted with the happy news that the construction zone has ended. My remaining journey to my house will now be unobstructed. I will not be hindered further by those dented orange barrels. You do realize that a different person’s car hit each and every one of those.
The ‘Road Work Ahead’ sign—sure, I understand its value. Slow down, there are people working ahead. It helps reduce potential injuries. There is nothing worse than scraping a road worker off of your bumper. It’s time consuming and very messy. Your finger nails won’t be the same for weeks. (Hey geese lovers, how’d you like that one?)
However the ‘End Road Work’ sign is not very informative. Who is this sign for? I would have noticed that the street was suddenly easier to navigate with or without the appearance of this sign. Who leaves an area of road work and thinks, “I wonder if that was the end of the construction. I don’t feel any more potholes. No, it can’t be over. I’ll bet they come back here after lunch and start jack-hammering and throwing asphalt at my car. Those sneaky little road workers can’t fool me!”
Maybe the useless sign comes from a very slick sales person. “What your outfit needs is signs at the end of your construction zone that will let people know where the construction zone ends. No more confused drivers. You’ll need one of these gems for every side street leaving the road that you’re working on. I used to be in the ‘State Prison, Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers’ sign business, so you can trust that I know what I’m speaking about. Today is your lucky day because I am selling signs that simply say ‘End Road Work’. You compare the cost of my signs to those over priced signs that read ‘End Of The Road Work’ and your savings are obvious. Those five extra letters really add to the overall price. I’ll put you down for fifty signs. Sign right here.”
Perhaps the sign is for the workers themselves. Can you image getting a knock on your front door and hearing something like, “Excuse me. I was paving your street this afternoon and I didn’t know that I was finished. I accidentally paved your front yard. Sorry about your grass, mailbox, and your flower beds. I really could have used a sign to tell me that I ventured outside of the construction zone. But hey, the asphalt makes your house look bigger. And, uh, now your friends can all park closer to your front door. Do you want me to paint some parking spots?”
I was at the dentist the other day. After he finished cleaning my teeth, he stuck that cool little spinning tooth-brush straight up my nose. After I was done screaming he apologized and explained that there was no sign declaring ‘End Mouth Work’. Without it, he had no reason to believe that there wouldn’t be more teeth nearby that needed cleaning. I understand. Without a sign, things can get real confusing. Next time I’m going to make a tiny little ‘End Mouth Work” sign and plant it on the end of my nose.
<Sales Pitch Ahead> Buy my books. <End Sale Pitch>.
…and dont miss this blog entry.