Street Signs

We backwoods hicks are finally up there with the big boys now that we have street signs on every corner out here in the hinterlands. The signs just went up this fall. We finally know where we live.

The authorities should know that intersection of 480th Street and 320th Avenue sure could use a stop light. I came within a quarter mile of hitting a neighbor who was hauling a load of hay the other day.

Of course, if anything bad had happened we could have requested that the ambulance come to the intersection of 480th and 320th. That would have set things straight in a hurry.

The reason for implementing these crazy new addresses was, of course, to make it easier for the ambulance crews to find remote farmsteads. Never mind that ambulance crews are soon switching to global positioning systems which require no signs at all. The 911 address system will likely be obsolete before it is completely implemented.

Oh, the complaining we hear about the budget crisis facing counties. Yet somewhere they found the money to put up all of these street signs out in the middle of nowhere. The cost must run into the many millions statewide.

In addition to the fancy street signs at every corner, we have new signs at the top of every driveway. Mine has the number 3895 on it. It is green, which distinguishes it from the other two signs, a white one which reads SN10A1, and a red one which reads A7517.

Which number should I memorize for the ambulance crew? I don’t have room in my brain for all three. What if I am choking and can’t talk? Doesn’t the 911 computer tell them where I live anyway?

Somebody’s making a buck off this nuttiness. You know the sign companies are cleaning up. Also, I suspect somebody had to write the software that figured out that my place is 3895, not 3706. And we’re all paying for this boondoggle in the boonies!

One good thing to come of this bureaucratic lunacy: You finally can get faraway catalog companies to take your order. Used to be they needed a street address for delivery before they’d send you a box of cheese, but now they take the order without question.

However, judging by the number of times the FedEx man has stopped by asking where a this or that neighbor lives, the new street system is doing them no good. I wonder how many cheese boxes are molding in the ditch.

The post office people don’t seem to like the new addresses, even though they are forced to implement them. Those in business are forced to update their mailing lists, an expensive process which can take months.

I suspect there is some bureaucrat somewhere saying, “you just need to get used to it.” But I know I never will. The signs are ugly, they are everywhere, and they make absolutely no sense. One local road goes back and forth from a street to an avenue with every curve.

The French Revolution of 1789 had the French people on its side at the beginning, but then the new leaders made a huge mistake. They changed all the street names. They changed to the metric system. They even tried to change the calendar and the clock.

The French people got ticked. They cut the heads off the revolutionaries and put in people more sympathetic to the old ways.

We usually vote people out rather than cut off their heads.

In this case, however, we don’t even know who to vote out. Who started this new address system? Who said it was okay to spend the millions? Nobody seems to know, and nobody is stepping forward to take responsibility.