Today I encountered the astounding world of stick figures in peril. I have two theories on this: the first is that sign designers have pretty monotonous jobs. There’s almost no way to make a No Left Turn sign interesting. But ask a graphic artist to make a sign involving stickular representations of people, and I can see the thought bubble plinking into existence over their heads saying: “Hilarity must ensue, or my life will have amounted to nothing. Nothing!” And, according to this fine map the most profligate designers of subversive signage live in Germany. Who’d have thunk? None live or work in Portugal. Such frivolity there would be punished by a stiff beating with a shard of bacalhau.
My second theory is that at some point in the past or future, evil scientists [or possibly fish] develop a raygun capable of removing the third dimension from a discrete chunk of space – a body, for example. Deprived of their third dimension and all the joys that allows- sex, food, music, smoking, hitting stupid people with a pointed stick – these people have gradually withered, and become simpler, straighter, stickier. And these signs that surround us are their art, their theatre. The remains of their lives. They have much to teach us, if only we could decode them, for example:
“Looks like Napoleon fell off his bike again.
Lesson: Never fight a land war in Asia on a bicycle.”
In other news, it’s a clear cold night in London, and I can see Canary Wharf twinkling in the distance.