Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday's Silly Sign (Photo) Aug 7, 2011

Technically, this isn't really a silly sign.  I spotted this work of art the day I took the wife up to the village of Bise in northern Okinawa, Japan. 

It was being used as a sign, though.  The village of Bise has some very narrow streets.  An old guy at the far end of town must be a follower of Donald Trump.  He came up with the idea of charging all the tourists about five bucks to park their rental cars.

Well, I didn't feel touristy that day so, I looked for some place to park for free.

Driving back through town, I noticed a good-sized lot that was lined with fukugi trees and figured that would be a great place to pull off the road and park in the shade.  This Pop'n House thing was propped up against a tree at the dirt road entrance.  It sounded like some sort of touristy, high class place to me. Nobody else was parked on the lot. So, I didn't park there.  I parked illegally in the shade on the narrow street instead.  This old boy don't fall for those tourist tricks, ya know.

Once I got out of the car to stretch I read the sign for the first time.  Hah !  It was in English; my favorite language.  What a happy day it is today!   I have never seen such a stupid man.  Oh, look out!  Help me! 

Perfect for Sunday's Silly Sign !   But, the lighting was horrible.  I didn't want to shoot a photo of a sign with splotches of sun and dark shadows on it.  So,  I looked around to see where the Pop'n House might be. 

I couldn't find the place anywhere.  Good.  I'll see if I can move the sign to better light !

The wife would have a fit if she saw me but, she was exploring some trinket shop.  Good, again.

She probably thought I was staying outside having a smoke and keeping an eye on the illegally-parked car.

Nobody was watching so, I moved the sign to a spot in the shade.  Click, Click, Click.  Gotterdun !

Just as I was thinking "What a happy day it is today!" because I got my Sunday's Silly Sign a car beep, beep, beeped at me.  I was blocking the entrance to the lot with my tripod.  Caught !  Groan.

Having been caught a few times in my life doing stupid (or illegal) things with a camera, I've learned there's better ways to handle the situation than just running for your life. 

Sometimes, an explanation along with a smile works.  Sometimes bribery works. 

Other times, it would be best to just run.  But, I had the wife and a car to worry about.  Damn.

So, I moved my camera setup, stepped back, bowed and hand-motioned Gomenasai (sorry) and let the guy drive onto his property. He drove over to park in the shade.  Next he'll be confronting me.

Think quick, think quick, think quick !  HERE HE COMES !

Silver tongue, don't fail me now.  You've got to explain to some angry Papasan why you moved his sign and blocked his driveway. 

Speak some local dialect.  Explain why you moved the sign.  Show him how you used your shirttail to wipe it clean for the photo.  Let him know it's for a feature on Mike's Ryukyu Gallery. 

It's for Sunday's Silly Sign facrynoutloud.  Buy the guy an ice cold tea. 

Well, I did all of the above.  He cracked up laughing. 


When I picked up the sign to place it back exactly where I found it I noticed what was so funny.

It was a child's folding table.  The legs are folded into what I thought was the frame of a sign.

It was sodai gomi (garbage too large for a regular trash day pickup) and that's why it was propped up against a tree on the corner.  The trash truck would be able to spot it easily there.

When I told the Papasan it kept me from parking on his lot he said "I know" and laughed some more.

The copyright in the lower lefthand corner, I'll translate for you.  It says KF Product.

I'll bet Colonel Sanders and his gang never dreamed they'd be featured on Sunday's Silly Sign !





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