Monday, April 12, 2010

Signs of the Times

Driving across my home state in the USA, I saw a billboard that made me grateful to be a passenger. I simply had to do a double take upon seeing bold white lettering on a bright, red background.

It said:

We Get Vomit

Seriously, I’m not making this up.

Twisting in my seat, I read beneath those ominous words the name for an emergency health care center. And I have to tell you that their advertisement did nothing to entice me to darken their door. Of course, things might be different if I were the victims implied in another sign noted a week later.

This second eye-opener adorned a pretty, arched footbridge spanning a kidney-shaped pond. The structure has existed at this local arboretum for as long as I’ve been visiting. Last Friday, however, a prominent message informed me that the way was closed.

Here’s how signmakers worded the closure:

Due to recent incidents involving wheelchairs, the footbridge is now closed to all pedestrian traffic until further notice.

Incidents? Honestly, I can’t tell you if the images in my head provoked a greater degree of abject horror or slapstick-inspired amusement. At any rate, the situation only felt stranger as I watched an older couple walk to the middle, disregarding the warning that turned out to be strangely missing from the opposite approach. One would think a chain across the parallel railings would have been installed to block interlopers. What do I know?

At any rate, a friend advised me the likely purpose of the message. According to his learned opinion, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is responsible for disallowing everyone access to the bridge. In other words, nobody should enjoy the view if a handicapped person cannot. The fact nobody in their right mind should have considered taking a wheelchair up that incline makes no difference. We all get punished for stupidity.

It’s just a sad, crazy world.

2 comments:

  1. Aww. ~hugs~ Come to Chicago! We have a plethora of witty, fun, and inspiring billboards! ~nods~

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  2. Thanks for the endearing comment! I just saw something about signs with really acerbic wit being put up all over (New York, maybe? I was at a restaurant and they didn't have captions). The mysterious people behind it made me think of "Project Mayhem" from the flick "Fight Club".

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