We all know the world is a dangerous place but I hadn’t realised quite how bad things had got until I saw a couple of road signs recently.
It’s bad enough to think that this might ever happen anywhere, but for it to be prevalent enough an occurrence to warrant an official warning-sign is indeed scary. And it seems to be a widespread problem, judging by how common this sign is.
And here’s another sign with ominous portent –
This sign means – Up ahead is a man offering bags of sweets.
We all know what our parents think about this situation. They told us often enough when we were kids. All children must refuse the sweets.
… But we’re adults now. We’re supposed to be able to make discerning decisions for ourselves. I mean, what sort of love-life would any of us have had if we always refused offers of drinks or food from people we don’t know very well? And cycling-races and marathons would get even harder if the competitors declined refreshments from strangers standing at the roadside. So maybe this isn’t so much a warning as alerting you to the potential of something either good or bad happening.
However, in this light, the sweets – and the man – are in silhouette, so you can’t tell what kind they are … which makes it hard to weigh up the ‘risk v reward’ equation.
It could be the Milk Tray man with a box of chocolates like in those tv ads from a time when it was considered romantic to break into a girl’s bedroom dressed head-to-toe in black and wearing a balaclava. (Just so as you don’t suffer as I have, I’ll let you know that judges do not accept an ‘outdated concept of romance’ as a defence. And you don’t even get the chocolates back either.).
Of course, it may not be a bag of sweets at all that the silhouetted figure is holding out. It could be a bag of Tayto* . And if you’re in the mood for for a bag of Tayto, it’s very hard to resist. Especially a free bag! So now you can appreciate the true evil behind this ruse if it is indeed a bad man who awaits you up the road.
In this case, I didn’t risk finding out. I turned back and took an alternate route. But still I think of what I may have missed out on.
It could have been fizzy cola-bottles!
… Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow. If you don’t hear from me by next Tuesday, you’ll know what has happened!!!
*(Tayto are a type of crisp if you’re British. If you’re American, they’re a type of potato-chip. They come in many flavours but if an Irish person just says ‘Tayto’ without specifying a flavour then they mean ‘Cheese-and-onion’ flavour. They mean this so much that they may refer to cheese-and-onion Tayto as ‘ordinary Tayto’, or even just ‘Tayto’. They may even simply call them ‘a packet of crisps’ and still mean cheese-and-onion Tayto. It may not make a lot of sense but it is simple … so just take that smokey-bacon muck back to the shop and swap it for proper Tayto now, please, thank you.)