Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Posted in On Tthe Road, Opinions on May 6th, 2009 by MadDog
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Anybody out there but me remember the Five Man Electrical Band? I doubt it. It was 1972 and I was flinging Hueys around in the sky while this Canadian rock band was singing:

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Here’s a YouTube clip from the Mike Bullard Show of the group performing Absolutely Right and Signs. We were buried deep in the anti-Vietnam War avalanche (that’s why I was in the National Guard flying Hueys). The sentiment of Signs burned in my head adding psychedelic flames to the anti-establishment bonfire that was already giving my rebellious nature a fever. Those were interesting times. Anybody out there feeling that way today? I doubt it. There’s a new war raging, new injustices, new infringements on natural liberties and freedoms. Who’s marching now?

Well, you can remove the man from the hippies, but you can’t remove the hippie from the man. Sorry about that. Our son was born in 1969. Does that tell you anything?

But, today’s signs are funny, not serious. On to the first of MadDog’s Amusing Signs of Hamilton:

Custom fitted off-the-rack suits?  I don't think so.
Do you detect an ambiguity here? Eunie says that it means that they will take a sort of tent-shaped suit off the rack and then alter it to fit you. Okay, maybe. I say that they are trying to tell you that no matter what size you are, they already have a suit on the rack that will fit you. Amazing, eh? Simple maths indicate that I’m probably wrong. I hate it that she’s right all the time! I never get to win one.

Could Hamilton be the only city in the world where farmers have their very own library?

The farmers have a special library in Hamilton

This next one is a little hard to read. Let me help you interpret it because there is a bit of in-built ambiguity. Originally, it said (literally) FIGHT WITH THE CANADIAN FORCES. The pictures make it reasonably clear that one is supposed to fight along with them rather than start a fight against them. But, wait! Some fellow anarchist (My Facebook Profile list my political affiliation as anarchist.) has wittily modified the message. It now reads FIGHT IMPERIALISM! RESIST (THE) CANADIAN FORCES.

Hamiltonians Against Imperialism
As a once American (I still have the passport, but probably don’t deserve it.), this seems to me a silly idea. To Americans, Canadians are a source of gentle, warm amusement and . . . yes, admiration. How could anyone become seriously at odds with Canada. The idea is insufferable. To the defacer of this sign I say, “You’re smoking way too much weed, man.”

This next one blew my mind. Could this be REAL? I got a little dizzy. It was as if I had been suddenly warped into an alternate universe where you could hop over to the Kidney Depot (there’s one in every mall) and get whatever you need to fix you up. Did the plane pass through a wormhole over the mid-Pacific and I’m only now noticing the subtle differences?

Get your new kidney here
Alas, no. I’m not so lucky. When, as if in a dream, I got back to the hotel room and began examining the poster, I found the URL recycleme.org. Ahh, now all is clear. The web site features a creepily realistic naked guy (sorry, no naughty bits) who moves in semi-robotic manner and talks to you. He’s got a big zipper down his torso. You can unzip him if you’re into slasher movies.

I didn’t sign up. It’s not because I don’t support the principle. It’s just that I plan to die in Papua New Guinea (not soon, knock on wood). I don’t think that it would be practical to haul my rotting 126 year-old corpse back to Canada to spoon out some decrepit bit that might supply one additional nanosecond of misery to another hapless soul.

Stay tuned for more Hamiltonian surrealism over the next few weeks.

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