It is not unusual for me to spend a minimum of 80 miles in my car any given day. But I like it. It gives me some time to think. To think about the good times. To think about the bad times. To think about… the deer.

I like them. The deer that is. Deer are cute. Deer are likely stupid . But deer are cute. I wish I could say the same thing about people… That they are cute. Because generally they are not. But people are stupid. That’s a fact. And our posted road signs prove it.

Exhibit A: Deer Crossing. In a wooded area? No kidding. I surely never would have guessed it. Apparently deer hang out in forests. The signs say so. I find this is the most common location to find deer crossing road signs. I can’t even begin to imagine why. I must ask, however, do the deer know to wait for the sign to cross the road? “Oh cool, I get to cross now. Oh. No. That’s my buddy in the picture. Not me. I’ll wait for the next sign.” And the picture is always a boy deer. Am I wrong or does it seem vastly unjust that the girl deer simply are not allowed to cross to the other side?

Exhibit B: Perhaps the best, most informative deer crossing road signs are the ones that specify a distance below the prancing antlered animal. Apparently the deer stroll along ditch side awaiting the moment they see the sign that is blatantly allowing them to finally cross. They see these signs and know, at that very moment, that they have the next mile and a quarter to cross the road before a car will enviably hit them. After that mile and a quarter has passed, people get to stop watching. The sign told them to do it. The area still elaborately wooded miles later doesn’t suggest the obvious. Not at all.

Exhibit C: Deer road signs posted at insanely stupid locations. As I drove down a dimly lite highway I noticed a deer crossing sign. It wasn’t so much the sign itself that bother me. It was, again, the location of the sign. This sign was posted at the foot of a bridge. This bridge spanned 16 to 20 feet over the road below. I’m sure that deer can jump. But I am feeling rather confident that a leap that high would be a bit much for such a creature. And I’m feeling even more confident that the deer don’t take it upon themselves to first create a road block on the road below and second stack the stopped cars in a stair like manner enabling them to climb to the highway above and dart across in front of any and all unsuspecting cars. But, hey, I guess those of us on the highway above have now seen the sign. We know what those mischievous little guys are up to on the road below. We now know to watch for them. But, hey, the deer could have seen the sign and given up in realization that we are on to their game. That is why we don’t see this crazy act happen.

Exhibit D: Signs that should be posted. Owl Crossing. I have seen about three of these (owls) in the wild in my entire life. Two of them were sitting in two separate trees on two completely separate occasions. The third was flying across Route 25 in Carpentersville about 40 feet in front of my car one night at 10:47pm as I headed home from Chicago. It was flying from a side of the road where a mall sits. It was flying to a not-so-wooded area on the other side of the road. And so for those of us curious, that is what owls do at night. They shop. I bet you didn’t know.  I know I didn’t know. That’s why we need a sign. An owl crossing sign. An owl crossing sign outside of strip malls. Or a Coyote Crossing sign. To warn us of on-coming coyotes in highly populated, built-up areas where logic tells us such animals just do not cross. It was, in fact, just the other night I found myself in such an area as I drove down 90 (a highway) that takes me home from the city. Said Coyote darted across the west bound lands, hurdled the 3 foot median and successfully made it across the east bound lanes without harm. Such road signs may be appropriate to warn us of the unexpected.

After all, is that not the intended purpose of the road sign?

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