Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Blinded by the Light

We saw a man holding a sign yesterday.

It was odd, to say the least.

He was not spinning or throwing a big arrow sign inviting us to buy a new home, or get our hair cut. His sign was homemade.

He was not “out of gas – need help,” or “lost job – anything helps.” He appeared to be a sober and employed member of society.

He was not announcing the good news that Jesus loves us. I did not get any sense, one way or the other, of his faith.

He simply was not taking up any of your standard sign-holding causes. Yet, there he was, lobbying the general public for the change he wanted to see in the world.

Alone on the sidewalk at five o’clock in the afternoon, wearing a floppy sun hat to guard against the still-blazing one hundred-degree heat, he held up his sign for the passing cars to read. Or maybe not to read.

Why is the sign blank? Is he holding it backward? Wait, no, I think there might be something written on it. Slow down. What does that say?

The sign appeared to be made in haste, possibly even as few as twenty to thirty seconds before he left the comfort of his air-conditioned home to take up such a noble cause out in the heat of the day. Written in single-line skinny Sharpie marker on a three-foot square piece of poster board was his gripping plea to America:

Ban Blinding LED’s

Umm… huh?

So many questions left unanswered.

Car headlights? Streetlights? Flashlights? Cell phone camera flash/flashlights? Home kitchen lights?

Wait a second! Are my home LED kitchen lights slowly stealing my eyesight from me and I didn’t even know? That would totally explain why I can’t hold the small print far enough away from my face to read it anymore!

It might also explain why I had so much trouble reading his sign, but I had no trouble reading the stop sign he was near, so I think that was on him.

Sadly, his poor sign-making skills may have been preventing his effectiveness in more ways than one. Had his sign been of a more professional and legible quality, he might have been able to market more effectively, and comfortably, to the folks in what I am assuming is his real target audience – nighttime drivers.

Since he was out on the street holding up his nearly blank sign to people in cars, instead of being out front of a Verizon store or a Home Depot, I am assuming the LED’s he wants banned are the car headlight variety. But obviously, he needed to petition us during the day, because his crappy sign would have been impossible to read at night with plain old standard headlights. Only the blinding LED’s he was lobbying against would have been able to illuminate his dull sign enough to be legible, and that would have been completely counterproductive to his worthy cause.

Oh, well.

As bad as he was at being a sign guy, I had to admire his passion for the cause, even if the cause was completely unclear. He was putting himself in harm’s way to get out his faint and confusing message, because it was crazy hot outside, and his legs were insanely white. It was as if they were seeing the light of day for the first time that afternoon.

I’m not sure how much traction he’s going to get on the LED thing, but he’s well on his way to a secondary cause. Ban Blindingly White Legs! Just stand out in the summer sun in shorts holding an illegible sign for an undefined cause until you are lobster-red.

He should Sharpie in “and please bring me aloe” at the bottom of his poster board.

See you soon,


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