So it’s with that backdrop I tell you about one of my biggest pet peeves. I’ve been walking a lot over the past week or so (another blog for another time) and I’ve noticed on more than one local street the sign that makes my blood boil every time.
“Please drive slowly We Love Our Children.”
This sign is wrong for so many reasons. Let us count them:
1. As you see, the sign never specifically says "love" but uses the heart symbol. Clearly the sign must have been created by an Irish Catholic family that couldn't use the actual word "love" to describe family members. But if Jesus was around the block, those four letters would have been in bold, capital letters, underlined two times.
2. You assume I’m driving too fast. Okay, that’s a fair assumption for me personally (another blog for another time). But you assume everyone who reads the sign is driving too fast.
3. If said driver is driving too fast, would you: a) hope he takes his eyes off the road to read a street sign with more words than almost any other sign you can imagine, or b) watch the road where your careless children might be carelessly riding their crappy scooters you bought them for Christmas at TJ Maxx.
4. The sign assumes the driver does not love his or her children, or perhaps nieces and nephews, but that the unique caring individuals who dwell on these particular streets have this loving commitment to their offspring that most parents do not share. Give me a break.
5. What if you don’t love your children equally? Or you realize the youngest one is a complete turd-on-a-stick? Will you trick that child into walking dead on into oncoming traffic? Will you put up a sign that says “If you see this loser child, step on it and have at it, Speed Racer?”
6. It’s not an official traffic sign and therefore is probably illegal. But loving your children is such a nice warm sentiment, we won’t ever blow the whistle.
7. It’s very limiting, suggesting only children are prone to automobile accident victimization? How about “We love our Depends-wearing, moth-ball-smelling, whisky-smellling grandparents who think they are walking down the Boulevard to the speakeasy before they take in a burlesque show?” Or “We got a retard on the block. He’s not technically a child but one day last week he bit a social worker, a neighbor and the head off a dead bird in the same day. Take it easy, okay?” Or “We are a bunch of newlyweds on this block and we don’t yet resent our spouses or ask ‘what if Jimmy Burke did kiss me at prom’ so could you keep our love whole by being careful on our street?”
8. And it’s just too damn passive-aggressive. And that might make the Catholic- or Jewish-guilt ridden child like myself (uh that would be Catholic; I never looked good in a yarmulke) unknowingly lead-footed on that skinny pedal. And the amount of guilt stored up could result in a crash involving not only your perfect children but both your white haired grandparents and Special Fred, especially if he’s hugging the tree into which my Pathfinder careens.
9. Oh yeah, and it absolves all parents on the street from being responsible and watching their children. It encourages “Gabby was out of work for two weeks and came back with killer bosooms” kind of gossip by neighborhood mothers; it allows 6 dads on the block to stand over one barbecue to supervise the intensity of a charcoal fire, work that requires a can of Pabst Piss Ribbon or whatever cheap swill that your neighbor Steve brings to your house while he stocks his fridge with Stella Artois. This sign allows people the false confidence that allows them to use “But I was in watching The View. Scott Peterson’s girlfriend was on” as an excuse for their beautiful shining child getting scraped off the grill of a Chevy Silverado.
So there you have it. Nine solid reasons to speed up in one of those "