Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vandalism skirmishes

One fine day, whoever it is manages traffic signs saw it fit to finally put a left-turn prohibition sign in the chaotic intersection. Anything to mitigate the chaos in the busy thoroughfare was welcome, it was very inconvenient to some people though, but no one could deny it was the sensible thing to do.
After some days of orderly fluid traffic, under the watch of an agent there to assist the sign imposing its presence and be respected, the new road sign was finally left alone to do its job. It lasted exactly three days.
The sign disappeared in the wee hours. Chaos resumed first thing Monday morning. No sign, no interdiction, right?
Where id the sign go? Was it someone strongly objecting to being denied a short-cut? Equally plausible is simple theft. Stop signs are notorious for their input as sardines fry pans, other signs have been spotted contributing to various other culinary enterprises such as the Koubal au feu de bois.
The sign guys came and inspected the scene, but there was no trace, not even a note. The naked pole stood there, completely ignored in its silence for a day or two, no more. A shiny new interdiction sign took its rightful place again.
By next Monday, it disappeared too.
Now, that's no simple theft! It's clearly premeditated, an act of resistance! The sign guys will not suffer being wronged so! A sign will be put again, and this time, it will be fused to the pole.
It worked too...for a time.
Sign number3 fulfilled it's duty, braving incredible violence. It withstood its paint being scraped, graffiti (everyone knows now Souad and Amine are in love, but seriously, blanco?)... someone even managed to bend a corner, the savages!
However, the Anti-sign guy (it must be a guy, too much testosterone in the air) was brewing something more radical. By a Monday, again, the chaos diligently filled the void, and many people got to school or work late. The sign was still there, securely fused to the pole, but it was the latter the victim this time. By bending the pole so severely mere centimetres separated the sign from the soil now. No one acknowledged its authority any more...
The sign guys were now honour bound to react, but budget isn't infinite. It took a lot of work to unbend the pole, but it was worth it. The sign was still serviceable after all it endured. It was a bit skewed, but still there for everyone to see.
Then the anti-sign guy stroke again, without delay. Now, a crater stands in place and around where the sign stood. He extracted and took the concrete foundation as well as the bent pole and battered sign.
Budgets can't keep with such determination, hundreds of people still occasionally arrive late, tempers still flare regularly, someone has his beloved short-cut, until the next supply of poles and left-turn prohibition signs that is...

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