Thursday, May 8, 2008

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Written 22 April, 2008

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Signs, Signs, everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery
Breaking my mind
Do this
Don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?

-- Five Man Electrical Band

Perhaps the most significant thing about Five Man Electrical Band is there were actually five members, a miracle for the day. Oh, well…

The sign read “Cuts,
$10.00. Kiz, $6.00."


The South is famous for its misspelled signs—in fact, I’ve often suspected intelligent, well-educated Sons of the South in going out of their way to telegraph their language and misspell their signs to confuse those not fortunate enough to have been born below the Mason-Dixon line. I mean, it sort of makes sense to say gummit, far, and tard instead of government, fire, and tired? I mean, there’s a savings of six letters in three words!

But kiz?


Has the sign painter really going around his entire life talking about the wife and kiz? Kiz stuff? Getting the kiz off to school? “You kiz stop that before I whup you!” Surely not!

But almost certainly yes.

For some reason that sign got me to thinking about Second Life, and in particular signs in Second Life.

I hate a lot of signs in Second Life—those huge rotating For Sale signs in particular. Many are ugly, and many surpass the limits of good taste. I mean, the other day I wandered into what seemed to be a respectable clothing store, only to be confronted with row after row of signs of butt skirts! Butt skirts! Trauma! I had to call Sweetie and ask her to teleport in blindfolded and rescue me.

Sweetie arrived promptly, fashionably attired in camouflage gear and carrying her infamous katana. “Step away from the butt skirt,” please ma’am,” she said, and she meant it.

For every offensive sign, if course, there’s one that serves a utilitarian purpose: “Freebies!” “Caution! Sim Crossing” “Pattie’s Peppermint Palace.” “Happy Rez Day, Albatross Redgrave!”

And then there are the signs that are just funny, the whimsical signs. I would make a long list here, but I’ve few pictures of such, so I’ll just treat you to a few of my own (in a blog to follow this one).

When I bought Pele a year and a half ago, I realized quirky signs could liven up the place. And so I pulled out my rusty trusty ancient version of Quark Xpress and got down to it. Soon the landscape was littered with signs.

We’re being more systematic with our signage at Whimsy, but I’m once again using Quark Xpress to make silly signs.

So I jumped on the fence
And I yelled at the house
Hey! What gives you the right
To put up a sign to keep people out
And to keep Mother Nature in
If God was here he’d tell you to your face
Man, you’re some kind of sinner!

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