Thursday, June 19, 2008

Problem: roadside accusation

THE WORLD OF MYSTERY, June 18 - A problematic plywood sign greeted motorists on Foothill Boulevard in Claremont this afternoon;

No one else was around, but as I hastily snapped this photo I could feel eyes watching me from one of the nearby apartments, and, not wanting to get rapped myself, I speed-walked back to my car and got the hell out of there. I've seen enough cryptic signage in my life to make me think I should compile a great coffee table book of my findings. Sadly, my juiciest discoveries (like the guy in a beach chair, not far from where this photo was taken, holding a sheet announcing CLAREMONT HATES SICK PEOPLE, or the elderly man in Albany holding a DON'T FUCK THE POOR sign in front of the governor's mansion) have all eluded photography.

Except one. Six or seven years ago, Tara and I drove across lower Oregon on Dead Indian Memorial Road, the scenic highway that connects OR-66 to US-97. In the middle of the vast splendor of pines and open road, we came upon a crudely painted plank announcing a PUNK SHOW, with an orange arrow pointing off into the wilderness. I stopped the car and took this photo with the Polaroid sticker camera;

Our responsibilities in this case were unclear. This sign was either A) an invitation to the best show ever, B) an invitation to a once-in-a-lifetime Narnia / Phantom Tollbooth / Twilight Zone situation, or C) a trap set by mountain cannibals. As we weighed our odds, I felt more eyes watching us from the woods, and I put the car in drive and got the hell out of there as well.