Seen on Facebook:
Peter Koo is obviously just the front man for something that’s long been planned.
But it’s a kinda weird sticker. A walking cigarette? And why is it square rather than circular?
There could be any number of spoof variants of it. No Talking While Singing. No Dancing While Eating. No Being While Becoming. And so on.
New Yorkers might think of a few for themselves. And be ready with them when the No Smoking While Walking appear everywhere, so the spoof variants will start appearing too.
Perhaps they could even have a pre-emptive strike.
We seem to have become s roadsign-driven society over the past few decades.
Time was (and I can remember it), when there were hardly any road signs at all. There just be one or two that pointed to the next town or village. Most road junctions didn’t have road markings either, telling people where to stop. Most roads didn’t have white lines down the middle. Or yellow lines at the edges.
I wonder how people managed to drive at all back then, when there weren’t all these signs telling them what to do, and when to do it?
I suppose it was simply a natural evolution of road signs, that instead of just telling drivers what to do, they’d start telling pedestrians what to do too as well. Hence No Smoking While Walking.
What a wonderfully simple way of controlling people! Just put up a few signs in the streets! And people will obey them!
No Beards Between 2 pm And 3 pm.
No Talking While Singing.
Or nonsensical aphorisms:
A Snitch In Time Saves Nine.
Too Many Books Spoil The Froth.
Many Hands Make Lights Work.
My own way.
Choose a date.
When’s the day?
That’s the way.
I think there’s maybe a point somewhere along the line, a break point, when people just start completely ignoring all the signs, because it’s all got too much
I used Google maps just now to drop down into a street view of New York City. And I was amazed to find a No Standing sign. Looking west up E 23rd street on 2nd Avenue.
I guess that it means that you have to keep walking between 7 am and 10 am, and between 2 pm and 7 pm. But it’s okay to just stand around a bit between 10 am and 2 pm, or after 7 pm.
It kinda meshes in with the No Smoking While Walking thing, because if people can only smoke while they’re standing, then No Standing signs are effectively No Smoking signs as well. Or they strongly imply no smoking.
It was probably intended for drivers rather than people on the street. But how can you tell who a sign is supposed to be read by?
Or is it the direction a sign faces that sort of suggests who’s supposed to read it? So signs intended for drivers face along roads towards oncoming traffic. But signs intended for people crossing streets face across roads rather than along them.
Just a few yards away was another really weird sign. I think it was some sort of aphorism. But I couldn’t make out what it said, because it seemed to be written in bleeding, dripping letters that said something like Afraid And Dead. I guess that if you were crossing 2nd Avenue and you stopped to try to figure out what the scary sign meant, you’d find out when you got hit by a truck.
Both these signs faced across the street, on either side of what we Brits call a zebra crossing (but which New Yorkers probably call something else). So both are intended for people crossing the streets, or people on the other side of the street. They can’t be intended for drivers.
New York is already plastered in signs. Shop signs. Ad signs. Street signs. Graffiti signs. I’d guess that New Yorkers OD’ed on signs a long time ago, and they never notice any of them now.
Anyway yesterday I tweeted Councillor Peter Koo. He probably never saw it. He probably didn’t see my comment on his Facebook page either.