At the end of Loch Arkaig I came across a sign. What it basically says is, “See those big lumpy things behind this sign, well they’re mountains. These are big scary places where you can skin you knees and it’s really hard to get a decent latte. I’d turn back if I was you.” This is part of a totem pole that points to random places and tells you they are a long way off.
It’s enough to make one choke on one’s reduced fat, salt free organic flap jack, so it is! This sign was obviously erected by the Royal Society for Stating the Bleeding Obvious. Not only are these things a blot on the landscape they are also a complete waste of time and erected by that earnest band of people who seem to think there should be signs everywhere telling us to do everything.
I now realise, of course, having thought it through, that the problem is there aren’t enough signs! For example. On top of Ben Nevis we need, “Please do not hurl yourself to your death down the north face.” In the Cuillins, “No piano’s please.” Pretty well anywhere in the Highlands, “Danger – Midges.”
The sign also points vaguely in the direction of a few random places, Tomdoun for example, and tells you how far they are. If you don’t know where you are then you should go home. The sign also does not say that beyond this point there are no more signs for a very long way. Someone, probably us indirectly, paid for this sign. What’s even scarier is that a group of well-meaning folk sat in a committee room and argued late into the night about exactly where this sign should be and what it should say. Perhaps there was even an opening ceremony when it went up.
I also spotted this helpful little sign on Loch Quioch dam. All I can say is it’s a good job it was there as I was already in my swimming costume and about to leap 70 ft. into the icy water below. Perhaps it should also say, “Anyone committing suicide off this dam will be prosecuted.”
Other helpful signs are those outside villages saying, “Please drive carefully.” Good job they have them too. I for one was planning to enter the village at around 80 miles an hour, do handbrake turn in the High street, and see how many elderly ladies I could mow down before I turned over in a ball of flame in the bakers.
You don’t see signs outside banks saying, “Please don’t rob this Bank,” do you? The reason for that is that Banks know that robbers are awful types of people who don’t bother about signs. They frequently drive carelessly and walk on the grass whenever they feel like it. Banks rely on big heavy doors and alarms and stuff. They do the trick.
These signs should be demolished, mainly to save the embarrassment of the Royal Society when someone walks over a cliff on a hill and complains that they had omitted to put up a warning sign.
Sorry, I’ll stop now.