One of the great things about being a parent to a small child – especially one that’s a miracle – is that he is incredibly curious about the world around him.
Throughout our road trip, he would look at the signs along the side of the road and ask me what they say. “What’s that say, Daddy?” he would ask. So adorable.
So I’d read the sign out and help him understand the meaning.
After the PRTR (Possible Road Trip Racism) we encountered in New South Wales, I figured that Victoria couldn’t offer more complicated concepts for me to explain to the boy. But thanks to an odd tonal shift in the road signs, I had a difficult time.
And his aggressive attitude certainly didn’t make things any easier.
So if you find yourself bristling at his political candour or indignant fervour, just chalk it up to cultural differences. That’s what I do.
Slow down. Speed cameras in operation. Something something.
I’m grateful for signs like this.
First, it gets people to slow down, which is always a good thing. Second, it reminds you that there are cameras that will record you going over the speed limit and send you a very expensive ticket.
But my son didn’t see it that way.”‘Slow down’?” he bellowed. “We’re barely moving! How slow do these motherf$^#@#ers; want us to go?!”
I tried to explain that if I didn’t slow down, the cameras would catch us. He wasn’t buying it.
“I can’t decide if these cameras turn us into a police state run by Big Brother or a nanny state run by some half-conscious 102-year-old grandmother,” he said. “We might as well be in a f&#^#^ing Flintstone Mobile!”
YAWNING? TAKE A POWERNAP
I loved this sign because driving tired is no good for anyone. It’s just good policy to ask a driver if he or she is tired and then give them a friendly reminder to take a nap.
Of course, after I read it to him, my toddler didn’t see it that way.
“I just woke up from a nap. I’m not taking another one. I’m sorry,” he protested. “Take a powernap… I’ll take a powersh&$#%!!!”
And he did. It was disgusting, you guys.
TIRED? POWERNAP NOW
Maybe it was a bit much to continue to find different ways to remind us drivers to take a nap, but I still appreciated the heads up. I liked knowing that a nap was an option.
“Is Victoria filled with narcoleptics?” my boy wondered aloud. “What kind of post-apocalyptic hellscape have we entered? Should we be looking out for zombies, too?!”
A MICROSLEEP CAN KILL IN SECONDS
It became very clear that Victoria didn’t want drivers to fall asleep.
“Thank you for the death reminder, sign!” my son yelled. “When I’m in a car, I need to be constantly aware that death is right around the corner!”
OPEN YOUR EYES, FATIGUE KILLS
Yikes. That one was pretty direct.
“Hey, great! Another kill notice!” my son said. He was having a really hard time letting the whole thing go…
“Hi, we’re the Victorian government, keeping you safe by reminding you that you might be killed!”
“Hi, welcome to Victoria. Come for the scenery, stay for the number of times we’re going to let you know that being killed is a strong possibility.”
He just kept going…
“Victoria! Wine and killing!”
“Victoria! The kill state!”
REST & STAY ALIVE
As much as I was having a hard time listening to my son’s rants, I had to admit that these signs were starting to overdo it.
“The way these signs are carrying on, I’m surprised the roads aren’t soaked with blood,” the boy said. “Seriously, the death count around here must be in the billions.”
“Let’s not spend more time here than we have to, Daddy. Christ almighty…”