Look at this sign, spied last week along Chicago Avenue, just east of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Take your time. Study the photo. See if you notice what I noticed immediately, stopping in my tracks and snapping this photo.
No? It was a bit of a misleading request. Notice, not the sign, but the ground. Anything missing? How about grass? These large, stark, yellow and black signs are warning about pesticide that isn't applied to a lawn that isn't there. Almost a koan.
I can only imagine that there was once grass, and the sign either warned of regular though ultimately ineffectual pesticide treatment or—my guess—they were just put there cynically, to keep pets from being allowed to relieve themselves on the grass. That's a theory of mine. I always pull my dog off lawns—when there are actual lawns— marked with these sort of signs.
I can't be sure they're sincere—some part of me says that there is no danger. I even have doubts such pesticides are used in residential areas. I mean, have you ever heard of a dog being sickened by pesticide that was put on a lawn?
Me neither. Heck, I don't even hear the word "pesticide" anymore. I don't know what they call it nowadays. Organic-Earth Insect Discourager. Or some such thing. "Pest" is like "problem," one of those words that got banished when we decided to use euphemisms for everything. Now it's "otherwise-valued creature" and, of course, "issue."
Not the biggest observation. But the sun is supposed to go out tomorrow. And while we're fairly confident it'll click back on, well, you never know, and I'd hate to spend my last hours beavering away here.