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A Rebel`s Roundabout

by Deewrites 

Posted: 26 October 2017
Word Count: 470
Summary: An inspiring tale of reform

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I threatened your way of life, but now I am trying to preserve the remnants of it.  I stole but now I collect for posterity.  The vandal has turned conversationalist. 
Let my story be told one junction at a time. 
It started as mischief; a cheeky group of lads stealing little round VW symbols from cars.   I did feel guilty once, seeing a confused young mother, toddler in hand, shivering in the rain unable to find her hatchback in the nursery car park.  I still have its badge.
By twenty I had drifted into a subversive group called LOST.  Whoever you were, wherever the diversion, you surely noticed one vital sign was always missing at the most crucial junction.  Such was the disruption our small group caused.
At first I only collected signs.  You see, they gave me a sense of direction.  But I took a wrong turn with those anarchists.   Nicknamed The Council we didn’t steal but we moved signs to disrupt the mechanisms of fascist control.  You still find street names stuck half way up a building, or somewhere else no one looks.  Confused, you would fall victim to some slow talking local, babbling on for five minutes about how to get somewhere only two hundred yards away.  Blame that on The Council.
The Council had an offshoot The Real Council who painted cycle lanes onto pavements so skateboarders got hit and painted green lanes down the inside of roads where HGVs turned left.  It was their attempt to annihilate latex
I think it was Tom-Tom which led me from crime.  It’s a satnav of the times that no one needs directions, so there is nothing to sabotage.  Signs became heritage, along with steam engines, old coins and teachers’ canes.  What is no longer any use must surely be valued.
Experts say signs predated written words.  The Bible says signs were sent by God.  We are the only ones saving the true history of humankind.  How far would civilisation have come without signs and in which direction?
Look at these beauties.  I have documentation for each.  The local police have questioned me about my number ten door sign.  I had to prove no Prime Minster ever had the number on their door.  The image we have comes from sets for film and TV.  Now be honest, we both know you are going to check this the next time it is on the news.
It could have been the Sex Pistols saying; we “don’t know where to go, but we do know how to get there”.  Everything has changed.
Once they were important enough for people to read, thieves to steal, radicals to attack but now just a collector’s item because technology has made confusion a problem of history, like finding a payphone or over-winding your watch.  

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Comments by other Members

TassieDevil at 16:01 on 26 October 2017  Report this post
This is indeed a story with a message. Very thought-provoking and something I'd not considered. I recall attending a session running around fields near the University of Tasmania.in 2004 using sat nav technology before sat navs appeared (GPS). Now we rely on them totally, even the cheap ones that ask 'Are we there yet?'
The Beastie Boys led to VW signs disappearing from cars. I could have been a victim ... or a perpetrator like your character. 
Like the present tense feel. Very clever analysis and yes, I will look at no 10 next time. For that one point, your story will live on in my memory, with no sign that it will ever be forgotten.

Bazz at 17:52 on 26 October 2017  Report this post
Really intresting idea Duncan, I like the approach, a great take on the prompt. I love the idea of this subtle anarchy, the simple alteration and manipulation of signs, and them no longer having value due to technology, a thought provoking notion... I knew downing st does have a ten, however, because the zero is famously and intentionally wonky!
The council sounds like something out of a JG Ballard book, might be worth expanding.

Should it be "conservationist" at the beginning?

Deewrites at 11:36 on 27 October 2017  Report this post
Thanks guys.  I was told The Council were to blame for the stupid places signs have been placed and so I presume they're some sort of anachist group.  Must research!

Cliff Hanger at 14:16 on 27 October 2017  Report this post
Love the idea of The Council and The Real Council. Fab story, Duncan.

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