Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Writing Prompt: Caution: Distracting Signs Ahead

I’m not the only one in the world who has to deal with a daily commute, or the only one who hates it. Actually, I think everyone hates it. It’s a given that if you have a commute, you dread that part of your day.
It’s worse when the weather interferes: fog, snow, even sunny skies are enemies of the commuter. The drive is best when it’s nice and cloudy. Rain is my personal least favorite. High speeds, wet roads, and poor visibility make for a dismal commute home. There are many things that can make you wish for teleporters even more, however: a bad day at work, road construction, and lots of traffic.
I dream about teleporters a lot on the way home from work.
That day, there was a wet umbrella on the floor in front of the passenger’s seat as I replayed the argument I’d just had with my supervisor in my head. The windshield wipers were making a ‘clack, clack’ sound as they labored to ensure that I could see the road.
And then I saw it.
One of those road construction signs was blinking at me through the gray afternoon. I let out a huge sigh. This was all I needed with my horrible day.
I shook my head and took a second look as I approached it. I hadn’t been mistaken, that was what it said. I wondered what exotic animals could have to do with traffic. Had there been some mass escape from the zoo? Should I be on the lookout for lions, tigers, and bears?
About a mile and a half later, there was another sign.
What? Were some road workers feeling bored, or something? It seemed like it would be dangerous to put up distracting signs like that in the pouring rain, especially if there might actually be animals running around on the highway. It wasn’t long before I spotted a third sign.
These were some seriously weird road workers. What were they trying to say to everyone on the road? Were they some kind of amateur philosophers? I was on the lookout now, for any more signs. Finally, right before my exit, I saw it.
Oh. It was a marketing thing. Why hadn’t they used billboards? Those were easy enough to see. Maybe not in the rain, but it wasn’t always raining. In fact, the weather was supposed to be nice the next day.
As I pulled off the highway and turned onto my street, I realized that I wasn’t thinking about work or my horrible commute anymore. Those signs had been distracting, but in a good way. I was gong to relax and enjoy my time off.
And maybe my family would like to go to the zoo on the weekend.
Writing Prompt #285

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