August 12, 2022

A Need for Accuracy


I’m a stickler for accuracy. More so in others than in myself, but that’s beside the point. “Close enough for government work” is a phrase that should be stricken from the books of cliches.

During a drive on I-17 to Flagstaff, I noticed some inaccuracies I feel is my duty to bring to someone’s attention. The green signs with white letters and the blue signs with white letters were reasonably accurate, but the yellow ones with black letters need some work.

The first sign that caught my attention was one that said, “Watch for Elk Next 30 Miles.” I glanced at my odometer and did some quick arithmetic. (What’s the real difference between arithmetic and mathematics anyway?) A few miles down the road was another sign, “Watch for Rocks,” but it didn’t say for how far–so I assumed “forever.” Then, not too much farther was another sign, “Watch for Ice.” And again no distance. This was one of those portable signs that can be folded up, so I guess sometimes you don’t have to watch for ice.

To begin with, this is a lot of things to be watching for. I could hardly concentrate on my coffee, phone calls and the radio.

The rock sign was fairly accurate. Both sides of the road were littered with rocks, but I gotta tell you, they were boring rocks. I sure wouldn’t put up any signs drawing attention to those suckers. If you happen to be on I-17 and you want to see some rocks worth watching, take a little detour to Sedona. You may have to buy a time-share so you can watch the rocks out your back window, but they’ve got some nice ones (named after musical instruments and cartoon characters), mostly because they’re too big to steal. But it’s not for lack of trying; I heard once that a tourist was discovered with a rope attached to the rear bumper of his RV and looped around Snoopy’s nose. The authorities considered his explanation that he was doing research for a new Disney ride to be inaccurate.

And what about the “Watch for Ice” sign? I’m sure you’ve guessed by now–all the way to Flagstaff and not a sign of ice anywhere. Who would have expected such a thing in Arizona in May? I think it may be time to fold up that sign.

The elk watching was really perplexing. The whole thirty miles and not a single elk, but yet about two miles farther was a whole gang of them. A group of elk is called a gang; I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they wear leather jackets and have no respect for any laws, as is evidenced by the fact they were well outside the elk zone and gave no indication they cared. They also had a lot of cranial adornments, another thing you’ll see a lot of in Sedona.

Why is every Yellow truck I’ve ever seen orange? How are we supposed to teach our kids to read? I suppose it’s possible they are trying to make some statement, but it’s too deep for me. Are they afraid someone would say, “Here comes a yellow Yellow truck?” Is that worse than, “Here comes an orange Yellow truck?”

Another inaccuracy is that TV ad for Las Vegas that says, “What happens here, stays here.” That’s not only inaccurate, that’s a big, fat lie. I’d always wanted to try one of those thong bathing suits, but never dared because I might run into the church choir director at the 7-Eleven or something. So, when I went to Las Vegas I figured there was little chance I’d run into anyone I know, so I gave it a shot. Not only was I asked to leave the pool area, but I was also asked to leave the hotel, and by the time I reached the border half the state of Arizona knew about it. I’d never worn one before, how was I supposed to know there is a front and a back to those things?

And all this happened because an underpaid seamstress sewed a label in the wrong place.  I cannot emphasize enough the need for accuracy.

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