Monday, November 08, 2010


People occasionally lie because this is the only means available to them of defining the truth.

Signs: This weekend I’ve been driving around noting irritating and pointless (and wasteful) road signs. My main purpose in driving around has not been to find signs to criticise, I have been carrying out other worthwhile errands most of the time. These {the signs} portrayers of squandered information sprout like large, high-vis weeds and lollipops all across our country, taking up your road tax funds, bolstering sign company’s profits and blighting the already ugly roadside environment. My main sources of my well contained sign-anger recently have been:

a) “Elderly people”. Entering Dunfermline one is greeted by this stupid message. Trouble is there are no obvious elderly people straying onto the road anywhere near the sign, nor have I ever seen any wobbling precariously on the kerb or short-sightedly striding across the road in this area in a particularly hazardous way. What is the point and who are they really referring to any way? At 55 I’m possibly seen as elderly to some but I’m driving a car so how does it affect me and should younger drivers be watching out for me? I am liable to do mad, unscripted things from time to time. Frankly, in line with all of David Cameron’s fairness and equality blustering the sign should just say watch out for people, they are (as I would say) feckin’ eedjits and they can come at you, any time, any place, any where. Perhaps I should stop near to the sign, get out of the car and stand idly beside it and see what reactions I get from other drivers.

b) “Litter picking in progress”. Nothing fundamentally wrong with this message other than two of them were yelping out their warning at 2000hrs on a dark winter’s night on an empty piece of roadway. Completely pointless and misleading and illustrative of road workers who couldn‘t care less anyway.

c) “Countdown to 30”. Not content with the obvious 30 speed limit signs, we now signpost the signs by placing countdown signs 300, 200 and 100 metres from the main sign giving us four signs instead of one. If you are so thick that you don’t get the slowdown message first time you probably are no more than a slimy piece of sightless plankton driving along in a Subaru with the seat reclined.

d) “Brown signs”. Firstly there will be a normal sign for a town and then a few yards later a brown sign reminder that names the towns but also tells you via some crossed cutlery or a little bed picture that there is a restaurant, a hotel or possibly and toilet in this town. In my time I’ve been to a few towns (and villages) and have noticed that almost without fail a town will contain restaurants, hotels and so on. What do the sign makers think we would expect to see in towns if not these things? The town is already signed and would anybody be surprised to arrive in a town and find nothing but houses and no other features or facilities…there is of course Cumbernauld I suppose.

e) “Cycle path 100 metres”. Not quite sure who this sign is aimed at, will cyclists feel some special relief by knowing that the path is approaching, can drivers now put the foot down safe in the knowledge that there are no stray bikes to dodge? I suppose the good news is that there is a town nearby that has beds and also forks and knives and you’ll be there in no time without any bicycles getting in the way.

d) Motorway warnings: These are seldom relevant to your journey and generally show stupid and vague messages like “check your fuel” or “watch your speed”, never anything relevant like “left lane closed 200 yards”. They don’t do punctuation marks either so messages like “are you driving safely” look both patronising and ignorant. Useless.

Now that’s out of my system I can be calm and serenely peaceful again, like those smug religious, wordy and righteous people on “Thought for the day“ at 07:25 on Radio Scotland.


  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    the emptier your life the increase in drivel

  2. My life is truly empty oh wise one, thank you for your own special drivel, we have so much and so little in common.

  3. I remember a comedian commenting on motorway signs once, advising he once saw one which said "Frustration can kill"...

    So he pulled over and had a wank...

    With apologies for the language...