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June 4, 2011

And the sign said,
“Long-haired freaky people
Need not apply.”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat
And I went in to ask him why.
He said, “You look like a fine upstandin’ young man.
I think you’ll do.”
So I took off my hat and said, “Imagine that.
huh , me workin’ for you.”

Whoa, sign, sign.
Everywhere a sign.
Blockin’ out the scen’ry.
Breakin’ my mind.
Do this. Don’t do that.
Can’t you read the sign?

“Signs”, The Five Man Electrical Band

There’s a friend of mine in Key West, Michael Beattie, who has a blog .  One of his regular subjects are signs; I think the idea behind highlighting them is twofold.  First – we should have common sense enough to be somewhat self-regulated, and second, the signs say quite a bit about the people who place them in the first place.

Guam is no different – yet very unique.

The vacation as a zip file.  How much can we compress?

The irony of signs is their representation of reality.  Nearly seven decades ago, all manner of ecologic damage was done.  Now result is worthy of preservation – heaven forbid one disturbs the effects of thousands of pounds of explosives.
Combinations of signs often say more than any one sign intended.

I’m guessing – just guessing – one says the rosary before the cockfight, but I’m not sure.

Some signs are a reminder one lives in an area of hazard.
Others are quite mundane.

While it was probably a violation of some arcane law to photograph a urinal, I was struck by the simplicity and personal responsibility the sign implied. No flush valve – just a ball valve and a reminder.  The use of ball valves in lieu of flush valves is pretty common here – like tossing a bucket of water in the loo after one’s morning constitutional.

Other signs are a reminder Guam’s geography is more Asia than North America.

Spanish, Japanese and a hint of Korean (the white sign on the edge of the photo) all in one place.  This island isn’t a melting pot – it’s a cultural Cuisinart.

Signs say quite a bit about the people they serve.

There are lots of big mens on the island – and big womens, too.  Something about an endless buffet of barbecue and Bud light, I’m guessing.  The second line is Chamorro.

And finally – there are signs which hold up a mirror as to what other people think of us.

Japanese tourists must think us Americans as an endless stream of babes, bourbon and bullets – all with  happy massage ending.  Once again in an ironic twist – this plaza is the northern point of Pleasure Island.

Go on vacation!

Shoot a gun!

It’s the USA!

Signs.  Michael was right.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 1:12 am

    It is confirmed: mine is a good idea!

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      June 4, 2011 2:05 am

      I give credit where credit is due. Blogging about a place makes one look at it with a slightly more critical eye. Shooting galleries? Cockfighting?

  2. June 5, 2011 10:29 am

    Three little words.
    Two. Cock. Derby.
    How many times in your life do you get to say that?

    Greg P. In WV, who is laughing out loud (really), while admiring his stash of .45ACP rounds. Because, well, this is ‘Merica.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      June 5, 2011 5:10 pm

      I’d be willing to bet this is the only place in the US where it’s still legal.

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