On Paying Attention to Signs, and Size

It’s blogsday Wednesday and that means another exciting experiment in written entertainment.


When you go out in the world, always look out for signs. They are everywhere.  For example, one day after lunch at a local restaurant, we came out and saw this sign for a neighboring establishment:

Is that a “thumbs-up” gesture, or is he flipping us the bird?

With all the awareness these days of cultural insensitivity, this would appear to be something that is outdated and needs to come down, although it does look like it might have been based on the Felix Chevrolet sign near USC, which everyone loves. Even racist white folks love Felix!


No protests about the Asian stereotype, though.  Major League Baseball finally decided to tell the Cleveland team to get rid of that offensive Chief Wahoo, but evidently the restaurant industry is slow to follow.  Is this a case of it being owned by an Asian restaurateur who gets a pass like black comedians making black jokes, or Jewish comedians making fun of Jews?

Not sure, but this sign reinforces racial stereotypes and should probably go away.


Above is a street sign in Woodland Hills, CA, the 20,000 block (is anyone else still not used to 5 digit addresses?  Or even 4 digits?  I must be from a small town).  At first I thought Phaeton was a Scientology term, but looked it up and it turns out to be a Greek name that has been culturally appropriated.  In America, it came to mean a horse-drawn carriage in the 19th century, and then was a name given to certain early automobile touring cars. And today, it’s a Volkswagen model also.

That’s a 1939 Duesenberg phaeton? I want a phaeton!

The term originated with Phaethon, not Monty Phaethon but rather the son of Apollo the sun god, who wanted to prove to his buds that his parents were really gods, so he asked to borrow the sun chariot to basically rub it in their faces, you know, like borrowing Dad’s expensive sports car to impress a girl, which is never a good idea even if Dad is a god.

Anyway, he couldn’t control the horses pulling the sun chariot, and it was getting too close to earth so Zeus killed Phaeton with a thunderbolt to save Earth from burning up. One would assume that Zeus and Apollo’s relationship never recovered completely from this episode. The end.

Here’s one more sign from above:


Beyond the novelty of seeing billboards for pot cookies, which award is it that these particular cookies, and Dr. Norm (is he a medical doctor, or Ph.D.? Discuss.) have received?  Best tasting?  Most effective? Maybe they don’t remember?

The judging and awarding process must be incredibly entertaining. Who are the judges? Cheech and Chong?  At least people would trust their evaluations.  But how can this work? Do the judges taste more than one cookie at a time?  That makes no sense.  One could judge a few at a time on flavor, but how can you know which one makes you feel what?

Maybe they eat a cookie and take some notes if they are able, then the next day or whatever eat another cookie?  It’s beyond me.  But congratulations to Dr. Norm and his baking staff.

This is why we look for signs.  No, not signs of the end of the world but literally signs.  You never know what you might learn, or how amused you may be.


It has been suggested that my blog posts might be a tad too large and that some readers are intimidated by its sheer size.  As they say, it’s not the size but rather how you use it. Some readers like a really long blog, while others aren’t concerned with size and prefer an attractive, average-sized blog.  After all, reading time is at a premium.

I don’t really think about the size of my blog, I just sit and write until it’s done, but taking this to heart, this blog will focus on quality, not quantity, although it never focused on quantity in the first place so I’m not sure what all the hubbub is about.  So there are pictures, each of which we all know is worth approximately 1000 words.

It is, however, disturbing to hear that people don’t read anymore.  No time.  Short attention spans (thank you, internet!), excuses, excuses.  People buy my book, which is appreciated, but then when they have time to read, they look at their phone, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, and the book, though attractive, stays on the nightstand.

Remember, you can burn and learn! You use calories just lifting it and putting it back down!  Plus, Smoking In Bed, at 414 reading pages, is longer and thicker than your average novel and therefore better for arm curls.

Yes, you just never know what you might learn from reading a book.  Please, support your local novelist.  And put down the phone.

Smoking In Bed: dreams of love, sex and terrorism 


Leave a Reply