A man in Roswell, New Mexico (the alien capital of the world), was arrested after he apparently got into an altercation with a STOP sign–yep, the octagonal red and white sign that sits at intersections yelling at us in all caps to stay where we are for at least three seconds. According to local news reports, the man, who might be delusional or perhaps a visitor from another planet that has evolved beyond the need for signs, had enough of the sign’s controlling message and tried to beat it up. What is stranger than the fact that he took swings at the STOP sign is that the STOP sign seemed to fight back, and the man wound up with a few injuries. The Roswell police are investigating who initiated the brawl.
Honestly, I would like to say, I feel for the STOP Sign hater. It’s about time we motorists railed against the “Power” that our traffic signs possess. They sit there and act so superior knowing we have to bow to their commands. Personally, I have no qualms with STOP signs, but if I were going to beat up a sign, I would focus on the close-minded “ONE WAY” sign that forbids me access to streets where I need to go. Also, on my list for punishment would be the YIELD sign. Why? Because it promotes indecision. “Should I wait or should I go? I’ll wait…No, I’ll go…No, I’ll wait.” It’s not a good sign for the easily confused, and let’s face facts, as our population ages, confusion will be a pretty popular condition, and there’s a good chance no one will get anywhere.
As disturbing as it is that a man beat up a STOP sign and received blows back, I don’t think this violence against signs is a trend. Sure, signs will always be the victims of graffiti artists with too much time on their hands and college frat thieves with too much beer in their bodies, but for the most part, the world understands the value of signs. After all, without signs how would ducks know where it is safe to cross the road?