If you are reading this – Please go home!

small signAt 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.

Big sign
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.

Who'd of guessed you could drown, all that water about and everything.

Who’d of guessed you could drown, all that water about and everything.

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.


18 responses to “If you are reading this – Please go home!

  1. Ha, this was hilarious and at the same time depressing! What is wrong with us people? Do we always need somebody to tell us these things?

    I went to Indian restaurant recently in Finland and there was a sign next to a bowl of fresh, chopped coriander that said: “This is chopped coriander. It is often used herb in Indian food. Lactose-free, gluten-free.”

      • Heh, should be! I only wonder who would think that herb contains lactose – too many people I guess. What an earth went wrong with their education?

      • You should live where I do, not many people know what herbs are. I live in Scotland, vegetables were only recognised as a food group last year, and then only if they are deep fried.

      • In that perspective the safety of coriander should have been mentioned, you are right.

        Oh dear, I will be moving to Scotland this year. Better get used to deep fried vegetables then. Interesting to see what other things are food grouped there.

  2. The problem with taking down the signs is that then people don’t know there are rights of way there (ROWs aren’t marked as such on Scottish maps). Before you know it there are signs of the GOML variety springing up. I salute the Scottish Rights of Way society! More power to them!
    Now, let’s get all the Munro’s wheelchair friendly and have handrails fitted all the way to the top…

  3. LOL – amusing post as always… but, I actually agree with the need for some of those signs. Believe it or not, there are some really unprepared folks hitting the hill – maybe not from Strathan roadend admittedly (although if they’ve driven down there in curiosity, you never know) but definitely in some areas. You only have to look at the kind of idiots who get rescued on the likes of Snowdon and the Ben in clothes they normally wear to work in the office – often complete with baby in papoose etc. So, sometimes unfortunately, it is necessary to state the bleeding obvious to some people.

    I also agree with Jim above that the Rights of Way Society do a good job. I never really mind signs. Anything I don’t want to see, I just ignore and it never really bothers me.

    And of course, the reason we have daft signs in the first place, is entirely due to the ‘suing generation’ – if anything should befall them, they spend more time looking for someone to blame than they ever spent preparing for their walk in the first place unfortunately!

  4. Councils love signs. Someone gets to stamp an official form and feel all important, there were probably numerous meetings whereby self important people got to discuss exactly what shade of green the warning needed to be and whether or not there were people who may or may not be offended by that color.
    Someone, somewhere went home that day with a sense of self satisfaction that can only come from a good days work.

    Meanwhile, firemen are going into burning buildings, teachers are fighting to force at least some nugget of knowledge into at least one child and surgeons are performing miracles.

    But those signs got done!


    Sorry, i’m ranting.

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