Revenge of the Yard Signs

Advertising has become part of the American way of life. Advances in printing processes have allowed for much quicker turnaround time and better quality signage to be available for more consumers. Signs are more affordable for more small businesses and organizations than in the past. In recent years, signs have begun to sprout up all over communities. Every few feet you can expect to find a sign of some sort. This has caused problems in some areas.

Many communities have taken a stance on the number of signs that can be displayed. Some communities have gone so far as to setting time constraints on certain types of signage. Political advertising can only be displayed between certain dates, for instance. Home builders are allowed to display weekend open house signs after a set time on Friday and must be removed by a set time on Sunday. In hopes of preventing overly cluttered street corners, which can be very distracting to drivers, the reduced number of signs makes sense. So many signs are stuck in the ground at some intersections that it is impossible to read them. Mandating signage on personal property may be a bit harsh to some. If a person wants to display their choice in home improvement companies or their religious affiliation or political party, shouldn’t they be able to? A sign here and there is one thing but, there are properties that might as well be fenced with signs, they have so many. As long as the signs don’t cause traffic obstructions or other safety issues, should communities be able to control signage on person property? It depends on the area. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have to mow around very many signs but, to each his own!

Reports of signs being stolen from yards and being set on fire have recently become a problem. There doesn’t seem to any specific target, just any sign. This has become a serious problem during the election season because political signs have been hard to come by. There just aren’t enough to go around believe it or not. Everyone seems to want a sign to stick in their yard and it seems that, lately, kids aren’t the only ones disturbing neighborhood signs. Political headquarters have been inundated with calls from people who have had signs taken from their yards and are eager to replace them only to be told that there aren’t any left.

Adolescent pranksters use to be the ones who got the bad rap for moving signs and destroying them. This was really more a matter of being a hassle for homeowners than anything else. Bored kids goofing around or retaliating against a neighbor. Sometimes they can be quite selective and witty about the signs that are left for homeowners to deal with though. I have heard of families with an unusually large number of children finding signs for Pro Choice groups or Planned Parenthood in their yards. Nothing hurtful or malicious but a clever annoyance no less!

Cranky neighbors, who at one time, might have awoken to find a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard might want to consider what happened in a rural suburban subdivision recently. The next time they start to be nasty toward some neighborhood kids, they may want to recite the Golden Rule a couple of times! Although it has not been confirmed, this instance sounds like the work of a couple of disgruntled kids who were out to get revenge. A resident in a subdivision awoke one morning to find his front yard covered with over one hundred yard signs! Subdivision lots are not normally very large and to have over one hundred signs stuck in the front yard must have been quite a sight. It makes you wonder what they did to tick someone off enough to make them want to attempt this! This kind of prank would take some time to carry through. Gathering that number of signs from other yards alone would be very time consuming and best done under the cover of darkness. The prank must have been accomplished in one night because the missing signs had not been reported missing. To transport the signs from one place to another would take a while and either one large vehicle or multiple ones. Sticking a hundred signs in the yard would some time too. Accomplishing all of these tasks, without being caught in the act had to take some careful planning and execution. Neighborhood Watch patrolmen must have been off duty at the time! This will no doubt become a story that is passed on and revered by the culprits. If they have the same kind of discipline and determination in their professional lives they will go on to become valuable assets in their field of choice. This prank took some time and thought to pull off! While I don’t condone trespassing and vandalism, I must admit that I’d like to see a photo of the yard crammed with signs!

Like most things in life, moderation is the key. Limiting the number of yard signs to display is probably the sensible way to go. In the long run, you’ll save money in fines from community watch groups and reduce the risk of upsetting your neighbors. To prevent waking up to find unwanted signs in your yard, don’t forget the Golden Rule. When you think you can’t stand to see another sign stuck in the ground remember the poor soul with his yard flooded in signs and maybe it won’t seem so bad!

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