Sunday, June 28, 2009
How cowardly is this bright yellow sign? You're just too chicken to ask.
These carefully arranged letters, spelling out STUNGUNS, arranged so artfully at an angle, are on the side of a squat, one-story block and stucco building not located in a particularly busy location for retail. What draws one's eye to the building at all is the almost disquieting color of yellow. Whatever particular shade or tint of yellow you want to call it, whoever painted it did not want anyone to drive by without noticing his business. Forget fancy electronic signs blinking and flashing, let's get 50 gallons of hideous yellow and dunk the whole place. Yellow cabs would be embarrassed if they had to pick up a fare at this establishment. Smart, savvy marketeers those guys. No one would call them cowards when it came to their decorating sense. Brave guys for sure. The place is empty and closed up so from this sign alone my best guess is that in its most recent past - before or after it was painted this stunning yellow shade? - it was a store which sold firearms and non-lethal weapons such as stunguns. You know the device, right? Similar to early electric cattle prods, they first began appearing for their current use in the 1950's and early 1960's, and by 1976 the TASER stungun was introduced. First classified as firearms, the design was reworked and they were reclassified as non-firearm. (Nowadays I guess one could be used, judiciously, on wild, spray gun wielding painters with gallons of cheap leftover paint that roam our highways and byways painting retail facilities in god-awful colors. I suppose to catch unsuspecting consumers and lure them in hypnotically.) Selling stunguns and similar devices in gun stores and pawn shops makes sense as they are associated with self defense and protection. But from studying this one sign that is all that remains of the business, I can't think of any reason they would go to the trouble to spell out this one product on the side of the building 25-30 feet from the road. Believe me, no one would ever get past the yellow of the entire building to spot the sign. No way.