We see signs every day. Most are pretty basic and boring: do this, don’t do that, blah blah blah. However, sometimes they can be fun and/or informative. You just have to look at them the right way.
Let’s take a look at the following sign.
Pretty straight forward, a little weird, but informative. “If you encounter a mountain lion:”
Panel 1 tells you to face the lion and walk away slowly.
Panel 2 tells you to make yourself look big and shout. This will, presumably give the lion pause. (Were I telling you this, this would have been a little pun–pause/paws. You know, cats have paws and this type of standing and shouting would make the lion…oh, forget it.)
Panel 3, if you have a child with you, pick the kid up WITHOUT BENDING (hope your kid isn’t husky, you’ll blow a disc) to make you look even bigger and prevent the mini-you from becoming a kitty hors d’oeuvre. Remember, DON’T BEND to pick up a child, if you bend in front of a mountain lion it will make you and the kid look like a human-flesh jelly roll with child-flavored filling. (What else am I supposed to assume from what is not stated in this panel??)
Panel 4: just tells you to fight back if you are attacked. Apparently, the graphic arts department for the National Parks didn’t want to illustrate what getting your ass kicked by a mountain lion might look like. (Actually, their graphic arts department was probably thrilled and invigorated by the prospect of illustrating someone getting his/her ass kicked by a lion; dozens of images were probably created. These may have been deemed too repellent and graphic to put on a respectable sign. I imagine the Panel 4 sketches, yellowed and tattered, relegated to being pinned up on the refrigerator in their office.)
Now let’s imagine that you can’t read English at all. Lots of foreigners and Americans, for that matter, who can’t read English visit national parks every year. What might this sign be telling you?
Panel 1: this could still translate to if there is a mountain lion back up, or do the Moonwalk to get away from mountain line, or do the Moonwalk to attract a mountain lion–hey, you love wildlife, right? This is how you do it!
Panel 2: just has a person with his/her hands up over his/her head. This could still mean–look big, hopefully kitty will pause…or maybe mountain lions are known to mug people and it’s a stick-up. Effing nature! or Hooray, a mountain lion! Maybe, we can be friends! I love nature!!
Panel 3: Ok, this is where it gets a little sketchy for non-English readers. There is an outside chance that this image convey that you should keep the child close and pick up kid to keep it out of danger while you still look big. Or, hey a kid wants to be friends with the mountain lion too. I’ll pick this kid up by the head WITHOUT BENDING to introduce the child and the mountain lion. The presentation of a child to other animals in the kingdom is done this way in lion culture. I saw it in The Lion King. I love Disney!! Or, hmm, my new lion friend is still here and looks hungry. I’ll pick this child up by the head WITHOUT BENDING and will then offer it to the lion as an hors d’oeuvre (Hope the kid’s husky. Will be a better chew for my new lion friend.)
Panel 4: Have no idea with only lines, squiggles and what-not* in that panel. No more pictures for Jethro. (This definitely does not convey fight back if attacked.) This might be a huge disclaimer written there to protect the National Parks Service from lawsuits (Effing government, always trying to screw you and your new lion friend!!) Perhaps the panel means death, death, death, human-flesh jelly roll with child-flavored filling death. You really don’t want us to draw that. Or, hey, you may have gotten lucky after holding the kid up to the lion and lived, no pictures needed. Enjoy your stay! Or, after introducing my new lion friend to this child we all went out into the forest to look for Bigfoot. Or, after feeding child to the lion my new lion friend and I went to recite some poetry in Waltham. I love Poetry and nature!!
That is all.
Thanks to TheBerry.com.
*Nod to Cletus the slack-jawed yokel from The Simpsons.