While running the Emerald City Half Marathon in Dublin, Ohio, in late August, I managed to pass the miles by reading the amusing signs spectators made to cheer on friends and family – and the funny signs that some runners wore themselves. (I love wearing my shirt that bears the phrase, “In my dreams, I am a Kenyan.” Translation: In my dreams when I run a marathon, I’m crossing the finish line in all my glory, still standing upright not hobbling, in a little more than two hours. The amazing Kenyan runner, Samuel Wanjiru, who won the Chicago Marathon when I ran it in both 2009 and 2010, finished in 2:05:41 and 2:06:23, respectively. Let’s just say, my time was more than double his time.)
Some of my favorite signs from the race included, “Chafe Now, Wine Later” and “Toenails are for Sissies.” (Yes, I’ve lost a few myself from the repeated impact.)
Seeing all these fun signs reminded me of being amused by a “Men Working in Trees” sign when I was a teenager cruising down country roads with friends in Northeast Ohio. This signed sparked a conversation about what signs would be fun to have. (I’m sure you all know stealing road signs is illegal, but it was still fun to talk about which signs would be fun to score.)
My mom’s cousin was married at the beach in Beyond Hope, Idaho. It was a beautiful place in Idaho’s panhandle, but I’m not sure it would be my preferred place to start my marriage. Then there’s Hell, Michigan. Wouldn’t it be fun to pose with that street sign? Then you could honestly say that you’ve literally “Been to Hell and Back,” not just using it as a figure of speech.
I also had a dorm mate in college who had the last name of a superhero and lived on Chevy Chase Drive in Ohio. She had a hard time getting pizza delivered because the pizza place always thought the call was a prank.
We can’t ignore “Abbey Road,” the title of the famous Beatles album. And Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Bristol, Wisconsin, tops the list of often-stolen road signs, according to OnMilwaukee.com. So does Beer Road in Australia.
There is also Intercourse, Pennsylvania, a small Amish community originally known as “Cross Keys.” The unincorporated village, founded in 1754, was renamed with its current moniker in 1814. For the suggestive-sounding name of this village, this sign is entertaining to many.
If you need a cure for something, head to Panacea, Florida. If you don’t want to spend money, look for the sign for Tightwad, Missouri. Need somewhere strange? There’s also Peculiar, Missouri. Need excitement? Make sure you pass by the sign for Boring, Oregon, and keep on going past Idiotville, Oregon.
And if you want to go nowhere, there’s just the place for you: Nowhere, Oklahoma. Or you can go to the place with no name (cue the U2 song, “Where the Streets Have No Name”): No Name, Colorado.
What’s the funniest or most obscure sign you’ve seen?
Let me know at email@example.com or share the photo on the Better Roads Facebook page. (Remember to be respectful in your posting.)
For a list of more than 500 interesting and unusual town names in the United States, click here. Or for a SlideShare presentation on “The World’s Most Stolen Road Signs,” click here.
To see some of the oddest road signs from around the world, visit signspotting.com.