I have this sign on my door that my good friend Mike Dargie made for my housewarming. It’s a diamond shaped traffic caution sign that shows a stick figure man being blasted in half by some sphere apparently ramming through him at considerable speed. Beneath this is the caption “Caution Pirates”.
Now I understand the sign is meant to be read as “Caution! Pirates!” as in “Look out, there might be pirates and they might cut you in half with their cannon balls!” But my over-thinking brain can’t help but notice the lack of punctuation and read the sign straight up as it’s presented.
Which gives me images of pirates roaming the open road stealing cautionary signs and promoting confusion. I have an image of a ship hold full of “school zone” signs and “falling rock” sign and “warning: flying deer” signs. Their treasure chests bulge with hard hats and brightly colored traffic vests.
Why would they be pirates of caution? Because they’re sick of living in a namby-pamby, pampered and over protected world. They get surly at the “warning: contents hot” label on their coffee cups. They don’t brandish swords or pistols, but instead run everywhere with scissors held firmly in their hands. Pointy end UP.
They talk children into playing in the street and racing down the icy side of the hill. The actively encourage children to lick frozen poles and pet stray dogs.
Why don’t we ever see the Caution Pirates in our lives. Well, the answer is obvious: They’re all dead. They played too close to the edge of the cliff, they went climbing without protective gear, and they all wound up in the emergency ward with unclean underpants.
Their mothers are all very, very embarrassed.
But I think there would be a very good movie in it.