Trina Machacek: Signals in signs
This was funny. I stopped at a little gas station in Austin to buy some gum because Highway 50 between Austin and Fallon is long. A zillion miles long. In reality it’s 111 miles, but it feels like a zillion. I get out of my truck and come face to face with a guy walking to his car and he’s carrying something. I, being me, say good morning and smile. I’m such a girl! He smiles and then for no reason he starts to move his hands around in circles waving this thing around. It’s metal, about 6 inches across and looks like some kind of a sign. All I can see is the back of it. He kinda laughs and goes into this explanation about trespassing signs…
“You know,” he says, “how trespassing signs say keep out and nobody pays attention to them?” Oh I so know what he’s talking about. He goes on to say no matter how strong the wording on the signs he puts up on his ranch people still just open gates and leave them open and sometimes cut the fences. Now we’re friends. Quick friends laughing at the trespassers in our lives. Seems we both have had to repair a fence or two. So he’s laughing and finally he mentions maybe his new sign would fix his problem.
Now I’m all over it and want to see his sign. He starts to show me then says, “No you won’t like it” and starts to put it face down in the back of his car. No way was he leaving without showing me this new version of “No Trespassing.” So I said I can take it, just show me and he laughs and turns it around and hands me this sign shaped like a little stop sign. I took it and of course I didn’t have my glasses on so I squinted like a little ole lady and held it as far away from my face as my arms would allow. He waited. I read it quickly, you know how you sometimes do figuring the words will just automatically unjumble themselves into something resembling a thought. Then took a breath and read it again — for real. And I laughed as it came into view and the thought it conveyed seeped into my mind. The sign — “STOP! NO TRESPASSING! DO NOT ENTER! If you do enter I get to keep you FOREVER!” Nothing about being shot as a trespasser, or calling the authorities, or please close the gate… Just a casual beware if you enter here you won’t exit. Now don’t get all city on me. It was just a sign and it was so funny to think this guy thought it was funny and so did I. So I high fived him and as he put the little sign in his car I said, “It’s like telling people, you come in and you are mine!” Yep he says and he and I go about our merry ways. But!
Well you didn’t think I wasn’t going to put a “keep your but out,” in here somewhere! But the thing I regret mostly about this chance meeting is I didn’t grab my camera and take a picture of him and his sign. It was such a quick interaction. A passing event. Just think of all the things throughout time that had to happen just to make that meeting happen. Set aside all the begetting’s of all the people throughout time. HAHA Just factor in the fact I wanted gum so I stopped at that spot, parked where I did, next to his vehicle in Austin on that morning and he had just found that sign. How so cool is the life of it? Very!
So to end this tale of signs…
On my way home from this trip I stopped out about 35 miles to the west of where I live to take some pictures of some amazing winter squalls that look like white waterfalls falling from the sky. I took a few clicks. I was stuffing my camera in the case when I noticed a sign on a fence post. I snapped a few more — I have to admit I didn’t really read it, just snap and go, I didn’t have my glasses on. HAHA When I got home I downloaded the pictures and here’s this sign. It’s all about no trespassing, don’t go on this road, use a road to the east or a road to the west then a phone number to call — but! But at the bottom of the sign it read, “Don’t even ask!” If I do ask will they get to keep me forever? HAHA.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Follow her on Facebook or share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org Really!