Brodi Ashton: These are the signs of our times. And some of them are dumb.

Brodi Ashton

A while ago, I was at the state Capitol. I went to the restroom and above the toilet was this sign:

Brodi sign 1

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I thought of when I saw this was, “Thank goodness they told me not to perch on the edge of the seat like a bird.” Plus, Figure A definitely seems like she is going to miss her mark. Also, what’s in the men’s room? Is diagram A a figure of a man standing on the seat, facing the back of the toilet? Do not try this at home.

Speaking of useless signs, I left one for my doctor the last time I was in the hospital. Keep in mind, I was on several types of drugs. My brain was obsessed with making sure the doctor didn’t forget to run tests on certain organs. There was no paper in sight, so, unable to move very well, I grabbed a latex glove, and made this.

Brodi sign 2

I could just imagine his reaction. His internal monologue probably sounded something like this: “Oh yeah! There’s a pancreas AND appendix in the human body. Thanks, creepy blown-up glove with useless tape!” (side note, he checked both organs).

Then there’s this warning sign:

Brodi sign 3

Honestly, at that point, I was more concerned about Bigfoot being in the area than I was about slipping on the pathway.

Brodi sign 4

I’m confused. Do they want me to pay inside, or do they *air quotes* want me to pay inside.

Brodi sign 5

In a similar vein, is it free? Or is it “free”?

What’s worse is when you ignore the signs. This is me and my friend Alan on Nov. 8, 2016, at the beginning of election night.

Brodi sign 6

As for the end of the night, imagine a Zamboni coming at us very slowly and then flattening us. That’s how we looked.

There are signs that can bring us together.

Brodi sign 7

Signs that a theft has occurred:

Brodi sign 8

Signs that make you want to pretend like you don’t know whose children those are:

Brodi sign 9

Signs that make you think, is it just the one employee who has to wash their hands? If so, which one?

Brodi sign 10

There are signs that something is fake.

Brodi sign 11

Ah, yes, this is a person I may know. It’s Lovely Teleprompter Stand. I remember our friendship well.

I got thinking of signs because as I’m writing this, Christopher Wray is answering questions at the U.S. Capitol about how the FBI could have missed the signs of the insurrection. I hope they can come up with an answer, because… well, see above. Signs aren’t always that easy to interpret.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had a series of life changing events. With a couple of them, I saw the (ahem) writing on the wall and followed them accordingly. With others, I wish I could say I saw them coming. I read them with the same accuracy of a squirrel reading a sign that says, “Food is for the birds.”

But reading signs takes practice. I hope in the future that our Congress and the FBI will read the signs correctly… and stop perching on the toilet seat.

This is me, signing off.

Brodi Ashton is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in the Salt Lake City area. She’s also an occasional columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune.

Comments:  (0)