Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What's Your Sign

"Is the wedding still on? J.Lo and Ben deal with a box office bomb and his strip club antics. Will their love survive?"

That was the headline of the People magazine I was reading last night. I know, it was two and a half years old, but I find the articles more enjoyable if I can predict the outcome of every turbulent love affair. Plus, hand-me-down magazines from my mom are free.

There was a backpage article about what all the stars' T-shirt mottos would say if they wrote one.

"Believe in UFO's" was one. "Tastes Like Chicken," was another.

Star Jones' motto was, "I am the author of the only dictionary that defines me," which is funny because the the dictionary that I authored defines Star Jones as "n. a cheeseball."

But anyway, this question reminded me of when my friend woke up one day to find a big light-up sign in her yard that said, "For a good time, call Judy."

It was the old sign the high school she worked at was getting rid of it. The sign had caused her years of grief, as the key was always lost and the letters missing. As we often do with annoying things, she had grown a little fond of it. She thought of keeping it in her yard and changing the message periodically.

We thought of generic messages it could say: Think positive! Honk if you love Jesus! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

What would the sign in your yard say?

Mine would have to reflect the goals of my family. Thus, it would advertise whatever my son was selling that day: noodles, tomatoes, slime, tickets to his junk museum. It breaks my heart to see him out there at his little table waiting for customers who never come.

"You need to advertise," I tell him, but he doesn't know what I'm talking about. Think of the traffic we'd bring in with a billboard in our yard. I mean, who doesn't want a bowl of hot noodles on their way home from work in August?

I know a guy who got to decide what went on a church sign on Wornall Road, Waldo's busiest street. A traveling salesman, the mottos came to him while he was driving. Sometimes they were religious, other times, Chiefs-related, and sometimes a combination of both, saying something like, "Honk if Jesus loves the Chiefs."

Then one night, the sign got run over by a crazy driver. A Raider's fan, no doubt. But it got me thinking, what would my God related sign say?

When I worked at the newspaper, I had to drive across the river once a week to attend a staff meeting. On the other side of the Muddy Mo, Kermit the Frog was on a billboard.

It said something like, "Eats flies. Lives on a lilypad. Loves a pig. Dreams of going to Hollywood. Follow your dreams."

No one likes going to staff meetings, but that sign made it all worth it. I thought, "If a frog can follow his dreams, what excuse do I have?" I can't remember what my dream was, at that point--probably some scheme to stay home with my kids and still make money. Was my dream to sell tupperware?

I never figured out what that billboard was advertizing. Was it really advertizing dreams?

So here's the scenario: If someone gave you a free billboard, and the only stipulation was that it could not be used to make money or advocate a specific cause, what would yours say? What would it look like?

And yes, I see the irony of me calling Star Jones a cheeseball.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hee hee...love thinking of johnny selling various things in the front yard. we used to try and sell our "artwork" (crayola stick people on 8 by 10 paper) to people driving by..no takers lib

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