Sunday, August 14, 2011
Outrage! When I find the culprit, why I'll....
Without warning, this sign appeared on our road, hovering above the mailboxes last Tuesday. Of particular note, is the purposeful placement of this signpost directly across from our driveway. I write purposeful because it is no doubt someone's assessment of my offspring's inability to act speedy, whether facing mental or physical challenges.
My wife thinks I'm overreacting, but I think I'm onto something. We're a nation of label-givers, after all. It's no surprise that individuals have now taken it upon themselves to post billboard-like signs taunting parents with kids they perceive are not up to speed. Outrageous!
"You're reading it wrong," my wife says.
My son, still mouthing the speed limit number, remains transfixed, ignoring the yellow metal insult hanging below it. His attention breaks when his phone chirps. His thumbs blur to life and burn a text message into Cyberspace.
"Oh, I don't think I'm reading anything wrong." I trace the words with my index finger as I read aloud. "Slow children........at play," I say.
My wife sighs. "It's obviously intended to be read: Slow....children at play."
"No," I say, "If that's the case, where's the comma?"
"I think the little image of the running child is meant to act as a comma."
"Don't recall seeing that in the Strunk and White Elements of Style."
She shakes her head. "You're getting upset over nothing."
"Nothing!" I shout, "This is an affront to every child on the street, especially ours! Who are they to judge the speed or smarts of the kids on this block?!"
My son drifts away, narrowly tripping on a flower pot as his finger speeds across the face of his phone.
My wife's brow shoots to the sky. "Is that what I think it is in your hand?"
"What?" I ask.
Now she crosses her arms, foot tapping. "Put the hacksaw away."
"What hacksaw?" I say, whipping my hand to my side. The sound of metal clanks on asphalt.
I will wait until darkness.