Monday, August 1, 2011

Have You Noticed All The Billboards?

Years ago, driving along the long stretch of highway through Honduras, she noticed billboards; billboards advertising everything that was available for sale in the country. It struck her as odd, how she'd be gazing at the lush-green countryside, then Bam!, there was a huge billboard, as if it had fallen from the sky and just planted itself snuggly into the soil. She was instantly distracted, pulled away from the nothing like it - a land full of banana and pineapple plantations by the big, colorful displays of must-have items that can be purchased somewhere nearby; to enhance her life.

Just then, Telas's song lyrics enter her thoughts:
....Oh, signs, signs everywhere signs; there's signs breaking up the scenery....

Flash forward - only by a few weeks, really. Well, anyway. She returned to California, having landed in Los Angeles; touchdown at LAX. Her chaeffeur: herself, actually - secured the carry-on luggage in the bed of a small red Toyota pickup that had been sitting patiently waiting, enduring the L.A. smog, for her return. She jumped into the overheated cabin of the truck and took off, heading for the messy freeway ride home.

Rather than entering the freeway directly off the airport exit she cruised along, in the confines of the big city, taking in the busy-ness of it all; so different than the open roads of Honduras.

Now, what was strange (ironic, even) was that she never thought about the advertising signs before; and suddenly she began noticing the billboards everywhere! with all the building, cars, buses, and people the billboards never stood out. They are part of the scenery.

Suddenly, she reflected on Honduras. Now she gets it. Their billboards serve a purpose, just like in Los Angeles. How else to know where to buy what?

Flash forward, again, a few more years down the road. She's driving along the countryside, on the main thoroughfare, in Arkansas, and Bam! she is hit by the sight of billboards, billboards everywhere! Like Honduras it seems the boards fell from the sky and jammed their posts into the ground as if to say "I'm here to stay!"

She now knows she has been educated; educated on the fact that no matter where she goes, no matter how calm or busy a place may be, she will be told via a huge - sometimes attractive, sometimes not - billboard telling her where to find that ice cream she's been craving, the die-for clothes she-must-add-to-her-smaller-than-it-should-be-by-girl-standards-anyway-wardrobe, and where to find entertainment.

Billboards, it seems, are a must, everywhere.

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