Signs, signs, everywhere signs

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, September 7, 2022

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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I enjoy reading signs – store signs, billboards, most anything. As I drive down the road, signs just grab my attention.

If anyone knows how a sign can steal a glance, it would be me. 

For years I helped folks laugh, cry and even get angry at times with a billboard at my store that can only hold 16 words, but you can have a lot of fun, catch a ton of eyes and get into a little trouble  with 16 words or less. Trust me.

My sign came years before FaceBook with its question: “What’s on your mind?” 

Nowadays everyone with a FaceBook page basically has their own sign to use at their own discretion until the FaceBook Police deem you inappropriate for community standards.

I don’t put a lot on my sign these days as I once did. Folks are just so sensitive and all up in their feelings in this day and age and don’t seem to comprehend just plain humor anymore.

So, mostly the sign is used for advertising different community events now such as The Shriners 100 Gun Raffle on Sept.  24 with tickets being sold at my store, Batesville Tire & Muffler.


This past Friday evening, me and the Boss Lady were headed to Sardis to have a little catfish supper and something caught my eye. 

It was a billboard sign north on I-55 just past the Brewer Road bridge. I could have swore I saw a casket at the foot of that sign.

When we finished eating, we headed back to town to check on my brother Mike,but I just couldn’t stand it, I had to see that sign again. 

I know what I saw at 75 mph, I needed a better look. So we hit the Batesville exit and looped back around to the interstate.

The entire double sign is painted up like a tombstone with the words: R.I.P. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: IT WAS ONLY EVER A RAT RACE.

On the bottom rail of the sign was a real, full size casket with the American flag hanging out of it among what appeared to be an assortment of stuffed animals.

Strange indeed I thought. This was not a sign installed by the sign company for a customer. My wife snapped a couple pictures for me and we drove on.

A friend at the sign company informed me the sign had been vandalized because they would never put anything creepy as that up for any customer and she alerted the area manager.

We found out vandals have done that a couple times this year to  signs in neighboring towns and all on holiday weekends.

Not only was that a real coffin on the catwalk of that sign, it had been chained and padlocked there! It seems that it would take a group of folks to carry out that ill deed, and they went through a lot of time and trouble to plot it.

Just crazy ain’t it? Now if one of those fools would have fallen while vandalizing that sign, they probably would’ve sued the sign company or the landowner. 

There’s sure a lot of knucklehead folks with agendas these days. Just makes me shake my head at times.

Take care of yourself folks and in the words of Five Man Electrical Band: “Signs signs everywhere a sign. Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?”