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Friday, June 29, 2012

Sex On Mountain Road


A few days ago I was on my way to a dental appointment when an impulse prompted me to detour through our old neighborhood. Years had passed since I’d driven down these streets and I saw a street sign that made me smile. It wasn’t a traffic sign; it was one of those chin-high decorative brick walls that announce the name of a new housing development or apartment complex. I pulled to the curb and studied it. Written on the bricks:


SEXTON MOUNTAIN ROAD


Sexton Mountain Road was a development of comfortable homes named for the street leading up to an unimpressive bluff called Sexton Mountain. The sign was in good shape, without any vandalism. This was intriguing because I remembered when this sign was created. The letters spelling out the name were made of individual pieces of wood attached to the brick backdrop. Thieves thought it great fun to steal the “T,” creating a message that made the prurient giggle:


SEX ON MOUNTAIN ROAD


The Operations Department in our city was responsible for maintaining signs, and replaced the “T” dozens of times. These letters always disappeared. They were eventually replaced with painted letters that couldn’t be stolen. Taggers wasted little time painting out the “T.” The poor fellows at Ops were constantly sent to repaint the “T,” but the problem persisted.


A police car was dispatched to persuade vandals to keep their spray cans away from the sign but the cops could never apprehend anyone in the act of vandalizing the sign. It was as if the taggers had an informant at City Hall warning them when a squad car was near. One tagger did more than paint out the letter “T.” He was skillful enough to execute a trompe l’oeil painting, clever enough to fool the eye; not only was the letter painted out but the tagger skillfully recreated the bricks beneath the letter to hide the fact that it had ever been there.


Mrs. Chatterbox worked for our city’s Operations Department at the time; she told me the city was going to repaint the sign and shield it with a sheet of bullet-proof plastic. And so they did, but the plastic vanished after a few days, along with the freshly restored letter “T.” Residents of our city gave up on a solution being found for this problem and began referring to the street as SEX ON MOUNTAIN ROAD.


As I sat there staring at the sign, my fingers itching, I was distracted by fond memories. Drives at midnight. Excuses to utilize my artistic skills and play with pompous concepts like trompe l’oeil. Yes, those were the days. Interesting that the sign was now left alone, with no one sullying it with wanton acts of disobedience.


But then I didn’t live in the neighborhood anymore.


37 comments:

  1. I can't believe I just found your blog! I am enjoying "backreading." Love the Sex On Mountain Road post. It is my thought that you and I must have the same sense of humor and that madcap bent for civil disobedience, because if I had lived there, I could not have left that sign alone. LOL!
    Keep writing, you're an inspiration!

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  2. So what did you do with all those T's? They really should have just renamed it something else, that would have solved all the problems. BTW, my grandpa got a road named after him in Midland, Michigan because he built a bunch of houses in that area. The irony was then he couldn't actually afford to live on his street.

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  3. too funny. If my husband did this it would have been funny too, if my kids did this they would have been in trouble.

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  4. You are a tricky one! Great story!

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  5. Just what is the statute of limitations?

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  6. Awesome post! Another great story. I had a hunch that it was you...

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  7. That artistic talent of yours could be a blessing or a curse depending on who you ask....the sign viewer or the sign cleaner. I would love to see what you could do to "enhance" a sign.

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  8. I like the new name much better than the old one.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

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  9. I cracked up so much at the thought that the city was going to enclose it in bullet proof glass!

    *snort*

    Terrific story Mr. CC!

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  10. Great fun. You are obviously needed back there!

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  11. It was just too irresistible to pass by. You creative types!

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  12. You would fit right in with the other "characters" in New Orleans. Love this.

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  13. Aha! Yet another biographical style explored: The Confessional!

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  14. So you were the original "Mr. T"? ;)

    S

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  15. I just knew it was you when I first started reading this. You have the talent and you have the prankster in you. Great story.

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  16. Sounds as if the neighbourhood has gone right downhill, doesn't it! :)

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  17. I did not see this coming....what a laugh.

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  18. Quirkyloon.
    They got that.
    I know it's hard to believe that more than a thousand people doing scripts for " KANSAS KINGS" are witnessing this.
    But they are.
    And they see so much of " HILARY MELTON BUTCHER", they want to scream it in "3-D" at Cannes for all the FRENCH to see DASSAULT.
    MELODY MAE to MIKILOVELESS and onto TULOOSLETREK and SLYMIC.
    " The Chubby Chatterbox" may just be included...
    With Ontario and DJ MP.
    CHUMATO- CHUMERO 20 and MP 3.

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  19. That...is...awesome.
    Look on the bright side. At least it didn't say, "Sex On Hershey Highway."

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  20. A convoluted confession if ever I heard one.
    But it was just begging for it. ;)

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  21. Hmmm...to me, the "Sex on Mountain Road" name could have been used as an advantage to sell homes. I can picture a clever realtor saying something about people in this neighborhood not needing Viagra.

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  22. You and Mrs. Chatterbox in cahoots.. is a hoot! Fun story. It reminds me of a couple of tiny towns near my sister's home. One is called Dog's Nest and the other Garnet. Overnight, folks just like yourself would tear down the Garnet sign and tack it over the Dog's Nest sign, just after the "g." It was good for a laugh, doggarnet!

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  23. a great post - the only thing that surprised me was that the killjoy authorities hadn't just renamed the street

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  24. This made me smile - so I must be one of the prurient. I was so releived that this was a funny story; I burst into tears again last night in the centre of a busy pub while re-telling your last post to Mrs Jones.

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  25. We have new village name signs that are so boring. I am itching to change them for the better. And me being almost 65 too. It must be in the blood. Great story.

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  26. Okay, Stephen, I accuse you and Mrs. Chatterbox, at the street sign, with the paint brush!
    This was a fun post;)

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  27. So the great Sexton Mountain Road mystery has finally been solved:)

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  28. What a great little neighborhood that the biggest crime of concern to the police was a clever vandal and his merry mob.

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  29. Oh, how I do love a bad boy. And sex on Mountain Road.

    Love,
    Janie

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  30. That sign is just to hard to resist by people with mischief in their head. Too bad they couldn't find something else to do mischief on instead of a serious sign.

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  31. Yes. Uh. We have a road... Tucker Lane. The mischief is on going. And the pastor that lives there is about ready to move.

    Cat

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  32. Nobody ever messes with NE 29th Avenue. And my only problem with trompe l'oeil is every now and then I accidentally spell it so it reads "trick the egg." French people are baffled by me.

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  33. And all we have here are some old Banksy 'graffiti' .. you devil you

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  34. Hah! Good story- so you were the perp eh?

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