Signs of the Times

File this under “Politics.”

Not the national one.

The fun one.

There’s a nearby business/industrial property situated on a corner where a yellowish brick warehouse sits about 100 yards back from passing traffic that’s chock full of tractor trailers, commuters and vans and SUVs full of softball moms and all their gear.

A single macadam entrance to its loading dock that is narrowed by a rolling, chain link fence gate and concrete barriers remains visibly unvisited by day. But at the end of each day the gate with its single, rusted, NO TRESPASSING sign rolls closed for the night. Alien-esque, sometime before the next dawn, it reopens but no matter how early you pass by, the gate is already open once again.

The front and one side of the building’s frontage otherwise devoid of landscaping consists of a grass lawn that’s home to one modern metal sculpture and a tree or two. It dips into a hollow leading to a long-abandoned front office entrance. There, a tiny, lineless paved lot looks like it once served the company president, staff and visitors (but not the peons). The entire building rear and opposite side hides behind a railroad track embankment and a fenced in lot full of nondescript storage trailers.

The few windows in front reveal nothing about its contents save for a tiny, dilapidated wooden sign, peeling with age. Some of the stick-on black letters have peeled off leaving silhouettes announcing the company name: So and So Imports.

In the past, Stick Chick occasionally noted NO TRESPASSING signs on the lawn but not much else, and certainly not the number of notices that passersby could have placed announcing everything from nearby homes for sale to political rants, lost pets or yard sale ads.

Stick Chick has always maintained that the place must be a front for a clandestine government operation or more nefarious pursuits. Never would you see people bustling about and only once or twice in two decades of passing by on a regular basis did she ever see a vehicle coming or going from that skinny side entrance.

Most recently, and more ironically, facing each of the two roads that meet at the corner, someone unseen, placed a big yellow sign with red stencil-painted letters announcing NO SIGNS ON YARD.

Stick Chick laughed aloud the first time she saw them, imagining the poor bastard assigned to paint and plant the signs announcing no signs.

Some soul with a deeper sense of irony and humor than she recently planted a new accompanying sign. If you are driving and pass by quickly, you might miss it. But just the other day, Stick Chick turned the corner with v2.0 in the passenger seat who erupted with a fit of giggles that lasted a good half mile.

Neil Patrick Harris and the writers of How I Met Your Mother would be proud to know that Barney Stinson’s oft delivered line has made it into the common vernacular.

No Signs

Kudos to the maker of the renegade sign, and the local who took this photo and posted it on Facebook. Stick Chick would be pleased to give proper credit on that one.

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Stick Chick was right about the Monday thing and the Brainiacs

It’s the season once again when Loverboy finds himself incensed and dismayed, the result of the neighboring property owner’s choice to rely upon a questionable landscaping company hired to maintain the adjacent greenery.

As you may recall, Stick Chick has observed that Loverboy has a thing (read: “twisted thing”) about the lawn. The day after so much as a drop of rain falls, a neurosis compels him to get out there and mow the grass before it becomes uncontrollable (read: “visible.”) But, that’s okay. Most years nature strikes a balance between days of rain and sun, so their lawn tends toward the enviable.

In seasons past, at 7:00 AM each Monday morning, the lawn maintenance team (whom we’ll hereinafter refer to as ACME Contracting) would show up with their staff of three, a zero turn mower and two weed whackers to commence blasting across the 1,600 SF of macadam parking lot/dumpster station, shaded picnic nook (read: “place where kids hide from their parents to smoke”), dog business spot and lawn. Apparently on a strict schedule, if they missed the usual Monday, well, bummer (read: “foiled again.”)

During the winter, to his credit, the neighbor erected stylized apartments to replace the former historic (read: leaning, crumbing and long-neglected) buildings that once claimed the space. These featured early 1900s era outbuildings including a commercial storage barn, sheds and a farmhouse that had, probably in the 1950s, been converted into apartments and rented garages. Until their demolition, no visible updates appeared save for a celebratory piece of oriented strand board nailed haphazardly covering a hole in the sagging roof (read: or to protect against probable Y2K fallout) —she was never sure which.

The new construction included hand placed sod lawn surrounding the buildings and parking lot, and a modest attempt at shrubbery and mulch along the street facing façade. Sadly, it appeared that lawn maintenance for the summer season would be postponed likely a result of pinching of construction pennies in the final days. But the balance of scorching sunny days and trickles of rain interspersed one another with just enough nourishment to keep the dying sod alive.

Stick Chick Lawnmower

This year when spring arrived, Loverboy and Stick Chick (lacking the talent of a drummer playing Wipeout) waited with hopeful anticipation for the neighboring lawn maintenance team to arrive. Despite evidence to the contrary, Stick Chick said, “I’m sure they’ll do a better job this year,” when Loverboy gruxed about the inconsiderate and shoddy nature of the neighbor’s attempt at upkeep.

This Monday morning, on schedule at 7:00 AM in the pouring rain, Stick Chick stifled both a laugh and gasp of amazement to see that the Brainiacs had indeed sent a replacement “crew” of one with an aging push mower that sent clumps of sod flying through blades set a full two inches higher than Loverboy’s preferred blade height setting. Stick Chick recommends that the new landscape company (read: “sod butcher”) consider a name that seems par for the course: Take It Off my Rent Thanks.

Good help is hard to find.