It was recently voiced by someone I consider a friend that she had a pet peeve about people leaving out their sale signs. I shared that it was also a pet peeve of mine and that while it is merely one of nearly a hundred, it is at the top of my list.
Someone replied that it was a sign of common sense, something that apparently, very few people are born with. I agreed. To begin with, the world is cluttered with enough signs as it is.
As a driver with ADHD, my mind is constantly a swarm of influences. There is the speedometer that I am trying to keep steady and under the posted limit.
On top of all that there are colors and textures of all sorts to distract me: the vibrant green of waving grasses; the leisurely gusts of fresh wind; colorful and neon signs advertising everything for sale within my driving directive; vehicles of all makes, models and colors with balls on their antenna or lights flashing under their floors; tire rims shining or spinning; bumper stickers; street signs; road kill and the occasional bee shooting into my window.
That doesn’t include that all the while I am switching radio channels, breaking up fights and watching for darting animals that also don’t have common sense. Heck, the other day I almost collided headfirst into a suicidal bird that thought my window was up! That would’ve killed us all I’m sure had the foul fowl not bounced off the corner of the window at its connection to the roof, and instead flown in and flitted about, bouncing off the car’s interior as well as its passengers.
The last thing I need is a sign screaming at me “come buy by stuff for cheap!” Especially if I actually choose to pursue it, only to find that there is no barn, garage, yard or porch sale.
I already drive around aimlessly enough, retracing my route to get something I forgot, trying to remember where it is I set out for in the first place and finding my way to civilization from roads lining corn fields (which all look exactly the same and cause me stress as I try to assure myself I am not in The Twilight Zone).
What can we, the average American bargain shopper, do to get these forgetful people to pick up after themselves? We do have options — only a few of which are legal — so I’ll share the ones that won’t cause incarceration.
1. My personal favorite — You can walk up to the house and begin looking over plants, lawn chairs, bird baths, welcome mats and anything else they have on their porch or in the yard, and when they come out to question your actions, play dumb saying, “the sign said there was a sale here but nothing seems to be priced.”
2. We can ask about town ordinances for littering or nuisance violations and see if the abandoned signs fall under either jurisdiction.
3. You can add a sign to the bottom of the offending sign stating, “this moron forgot to take down their sale sign so drive by this address after 10 p.m. and honk.”
4. Knock on their door with the sign and hand it to them, noting sweetly, “I found this. I think it’s yours and wanted to make sure you got it back.”
If there is no address, it’s just a sign with an arrow, that leaves fewer options.
1. You could collect it and save it to advertise your future sale.
2. You could write on it, “Help, I can’t find my owner!”
3. You could write over it, “People who leave signs up after their sale prove inbreeding doesn’t mean you can’t spell.”
None of these will fully solve the problem but it sure couldn’t hurt since trying to educate ignorant and thoughtless people is only common sense.