Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Expressions and Signs

Occasionally, I see old photos of myself and I realize that I have had the exact same set of expressions for a very, very, very long time. Let me translate this one for you: (1) Are you putting me on and/or pulling my leg? (2) I am going to make a screwed-up face because I know that someone is taking my picture. (3) I see the man behind the curtain and I am paying attention to him. (4) The emperor wears no clothes. I don't do it on purpose; my face does this on its own. It is a wonder it has not frozen like this. Or, maybe it has frozen like this and my eyes are slewed across my face and my mouth is squinched up and I can't even tell.
Back in November, I did a post about hobos because they fascinate me. What I'm thinking today, 'though, is that hobo signs would be very useful off-road, as well as on-road.
Wouldn't it be great if n'eer do well nogoodniks sported a "Get Out Fast" or "Keep Away" symbol? It would save time, money, agita, social diseases! Or, maybe you go for a job interview and the place seems okay until, out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of a "Don't Go This Way" symbol on the wall next to a gigantic conference room. At that point, you still have time to flee when you find out they have daily staff retreats with trust exercises and sharing circles.

What extreme awesomeness would be wrought if a "Hold Your Tongue" symbol flashed in mid-air during some conversations? And, I really like the thought of an "At Crossroads Go This Way" sign popping up when I'm wrestling with life's most gristly and grisly decisions.
My favorite symbol is the "Don't Give Up" sign. I would like to see one on a magazine rack in an endless line at the supermarket. Or, sitting in your car, you look up and one appears on a 2-second green, 10-minute red stop light when traffic is backed up and you have an appointment.

Seriously, I wish I could put this sign in a spot where each person who needs it would see it. One problem--who the heck would know what it meant without this handy hobo sign cheat sheet? Clearly, the sensible thing to do* is to get my sorta niece's tagger boyfriend to make me a stencil with the symbol and the words Don't Give Up. I'm way too old to be a graffiti artist (how much are the fines, does anyone know--can I do time?), but I must say that I'm taken with this thought. Planting seeds of hope. Like Johnny Appleseed, but more like Jeannie Felonspray. That is all. Have a severely awesome day filled with profound awesomeness.**

*Okay. Maybe not clearly sensible.
**I have no idea why I'm talking like this, and I'm sure that it will pass. Hopefully, my written expression won't freeze this way.