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The Confusing Sign

January 17, 2020

We live in a world of signs. They tell us useful information and also bog us down with meaningless information we don’t want. Through my many years I have seen millions of signs. Some were useful. Some were accurate. Some were amusing. Some were downright stupid. And yes, some were plain confusing.

In the useful category, I once saw a sign in Italy that said, “Don’t throw rocks.” It was located on a dam that overlooked a power station. It was good, useful advice, especially for children. In the accurate category, I always see signs on power lines in Italy that show a skull and cross bones with the words “Non Toccare.” I also remember going to the bathroom back in the 1970’s at a gas station in Barstow, California. A hand scribbled sign said, “Look up!” I did and there was a dead rat stuck in the ceiling heating vent. I guess it was amusing, well maybe disgusting is a better word. Lastly. I once saw a sign that said “post no signs.” That was fine but it was the only sign posted on a brand new barn door in the South Tirol. I class that one in the downright stupid category.

Then there is the confusing category. I have seen a few over the years that I just didn’t get. However, the prize has to go to a sign I saw a couple of years ago along North Carolina’s Green River. I had parked the car in a pullout and followed a poor path in an effort to see if it led to a fishing access of some sort. There was no such access as the path lead to a dead end drop off of some thirty feet above the stream. I backtracked the few yards to the pullout and there at the beginning of this rough path was a North Carolina Fish and Wildlife sign that proudly stated: “Disabled Accessible Blind.”

Wait a tick! What exactly did that sign mean to say? Was it a handicapped access for the blind to go walking merrily down until they fell to their deaths at the cliff’s edge? I couldn’t help but chuckle at the prospect and had my wife snap this photo. (Okay vision impaired people, don’t get mad at me; it’s a joke.)

Then I reconsidered. Maybe it meant that it was a handicapped access point to a hunting blind. No that didn’t work either as there was no blind and the whole affair was just steps from a major road. Since most blinds in this part of the country are up in trees, I scoured the trees. Nope! No blinds. I cringed at the visage of a quadriplegic trying to scale a tree to hunt a few feet from an asphalted main road. Besides, no animal was likely to pass between a road and a cliff above the stream, save an errant squirrel.

To this day, the best explanation I can come up with is that the access is intended for the sightless or visually impaired. But to what end and what cruelty? Again the path is uneven and leads directly to a drop off above the Green River.Or maybe there was a hunting blind put there years ago that no longer exists. In any event, it is a very confusing sign. If you are reading this and are from this area, please share your thoughts. This one has me stumped. Maybe I just didn’t get it.

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  1. Semiology would have a field day. Happy New Year.


  2. In my humble opinion that sign means “Warning! Accessible blinds are disabled here”. In other words, in that place the blind people who blindly trust (accessible = a quality of a person who trusts everyone) are disabled, that is, they have been warned not to trust anyone, and therefore it is impossible to deceive them by saying “come here, let’s go fishing”: they don’t believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good to read the signs, hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well I suppose the parking spot was for disabled or blind people

    Liked by 1 person

  5. KiM permalink

    Did it make a sound for the blind to even know there was a sign there or did it have braille? Wonder if kids took it from somewhere else and put it there to be “funny”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That sign is almost as useless as the braille messages at the drive through window of banks. Think about it . . . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It seems the accessible blind has been disabled. Possibly meaning that is no longer accessible?

    Liked by 1 person

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