Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Defacing a Sign, Part II

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It looks like the folks who keep putting up Bush/Cheney signs on public property in my neighborhood have run out of official signs (or money to buy official signs). Their most recent effort is displayed above in a grainy, shaky phone camera picture shot in artificial black and white to make it look more journalistic.

I elected to liberate this particular sign rather than deface it (as was my initial intention). We’re in the home stretch now, so it’s vital to understand the mind, such as it may be, of one’s enemy. In this spirit of inquiry I showed the sign to my good friend and noted graphologist, Dr H. Xavier J. Prius, PhD, DDS, CPA. His analysis of the lost soul who penned this unfortunate plea is telling.

A partial transcript of our conversation by satellite phone follows:

[static…sound of surf, a mariachi band playing on an AM radio]

Xavier Prius: Prius here, just a minute. Turn that damn thing down, you godless savage, and bring me another of these poisonous concoctions you call a cocktail.

Digitalprimate: Um, Xavier, it’s the Primate. I was wondering if you had a chance to look over that photo I sent you?

XP: What, oh, yes, the photo. Yes indeed.

[the metallic clink of a Zippo…a deep exhale]

DP: Any thoughts?

XP: Well, clearly the poor chap who scrawled this is in bad shape. Bad shape indeed.

DP: Because he supports the Republican ticket or because of something else.

XP: Ah, if only supporting Republicans were his sole problem. Where’s that damn drink? Yes, well, you see it all begins with the “B.”

DP: Um, yes…?

XP: Well, don’t you see? Clearly the author, if we may call him that, has a low IQ with very little capacity for higher reasoning. Probably about as intelligent as precocious eight year old or a well trained boarder collie.

DP: Why on Earth would you say that?

XP: Note how the two semi circles of the “B” close on an upward angle – that’s a sure sign of impaired mental facility.

DP: OK, well, you’re the expert.

Yes, indeed.

DP: I’m curious, though, you keep referring to the sign maker as a “he.” How can you be so certain the writer was male?

XP: [laughs] That’s easy. The thing’s in all capital letters, yet it’s not proportionately spaced as it would be had it been drawn by the hand of the fairer sex.

DP: Isn’t it more likely that the author was just trying to mimic the official printed signs?

XP: Not at all. The author is clearly a man, although that disproportionately tiny top on the “Y” indicates deeply seated gender identification issues.

DP: Yeah…I’m not so sure I see that….

XP: Then you probably also missed the tall, skinny “H’s.”

DP: I noticed there was an “H” in “Bush” and in “Cheney.”

XP: But the meaning, man, the meaning. Clearly these inordinately skinny “H’s” represent an author of particularly rigid thinking. This, combined with the problematic “B” indicates to me that this chap was most likely affiliated with one of the more loony of the Protestant sects.

DP: That sounds like a bit of a stretch to me.

XP: Not at all. It’s elementary graphology; this case is so clear it could be used as a text book example.

DP: Well, all right. What else?

XP: Just a moment…Armando, that drink – now - or I’ll set the modified iguana on you, I swear to the gods.

DP: Everything OK there Xavier?

Yes, all’s well, except it’s always hot as all Hades here.

DP: Where exactly are you anyway?

Never you mind that. Now, the most disturbing aspect of this little snapshot of the heart of darkness is the truncated “C.” Notice how the ends of the letter don’t come down nearly far enough, only suggesting a real “C?”

DP: Not really, it looks normal to me.

Well, perhaps to the untutored eye it looks normal, but to my trained eye it can only indicate a casual, perhaps even sadistic disregard for the welfare of the scribbler’s fellow man. It suggests, I dare say, a capacity for violence, and you’d be well advised to steer clear of this man’s territory.

DP: This is actually a pretty peaceful neighborhood. I doubt anyone here would get physical over a political sign.

XP: I wouldn’t be so certain of that. This wavy, uneven “U” indicates severe sexual dysfunction, and you know even the best of men can get a bit testy when he’s not feeling, shall we say, his best? Eh? And that’s not to mention the elongated bottom curve to the “S,” a sure sign of incontinence.

Well, I appreciate the, uh, insights. I’ll be sure to be more careful next time.

XP: Right, you do that.

DP: Thanks again, and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me.

XP: Now that you mention it, I could use some woolen blankets and a small Tesla coil.

DP: I…I’ll see what I can do.

XP: Very good. Got to run. Nice chatting with you.

[meringue music, surf…static]


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