Gimme A Sign: Oh The Irony

On occasion I’ve been known to vigorously rip down unauthorized signage because I’m one of those assholes who takes issue with those assholes who don’t give a shit about illegally blighting our fair city for their own selfish gain.

The law that such basterds fail to observe is Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 28.04, which states as follows: “You cannot be a dick and put a sign up on anything that’s public or utility property, not simply because it’s lame but also because you’re then going to irresponsibly leave that stupid sign there to decay until it becomes someone else’s problem; and seriously no one went to your garage sale anyway much less one that happened two months ago.”

Well aware of that legality, the discovery this morning of the sign, pictured above, found at the median between Highland Avenue and 4th Street was at first modestly disappointing and then semi-rich in irony in that whoever installed this “Need Repairs?” placard did so by damaging its victim tree with a series of screws sunk into its trunk — and all done purposefully high enough to prevent anyone less than 7-feet tall and/or without a ladder handy from removing it. To add their ignorance to the tree’s insult and injury, these aren’t just any arbors. This and every one of the 82-year-old palms that line the center of Highland between Wilshire and Melrose are collectively known as something that goes a little like this: Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark No. 94.

So I called the number on the sign to ask the 818-based handyperson what was up with the double fail, but all I got was an outgoing message that told me I’d reached a guy named Jake and to leave a message. And since he couldn’t tell me to fuck off directly, I assumed him to be an otherwise fine and decent fellow just trying to make a buck in these hard times. With that in mind, after the beep I politely encouraged him to take that trip back over Cahuenga Pass at his earliest convenience to make repairs, so to speak, and take down that sign and any others he may have hung in the vicinity lest some far less tolerant and more angry Hancock Parkians start calling him and/or the office of our sign-hating city attorney.

Just in case he chooses to ignore my suggestion, I’ve put in a request to the Bureau of Street Services, too. Wonder who’ll get there first?

9 Replies to “Gimme A Sign: Oh The Irony”

  1. I liked your story. I’m totally that asshole too (the asshole who takes issue, not the asshole who breaks the laws). Power to the people.

    I am dying to know though — is spelling bastards as ‘basterds’ a thing now that I am slow to hear about? or was it just a typo? are we going to forever forget what the correct spelling of it thanks to QT?

  2. I thought it was basTURDS…nice post and I rip them down when I see them if there is a trash recepticle I can toss it in. The blight is everywhere.

  3. There should be a circle in hell reserved for people who nail, screw, or staple signs into trees.

    Will, besides the Bureau of Street Services, you might want to let the Office of Historic Resources (the office that coordinates LA’s historic preservation efforts) know about this. They can’t do anything on their own (and they have a small staff), but they might also contact street services, and maybe an internal word could carry more impact.

  4. Sadly, I don’t think the type of mouth breather who put up the sign has a sense of irony or any clue that damaging a tree with a “Need Repairs?” sign is inconsistent in any way.

    And I’m quite certain Will spelled “basterds” that way for the same reason I did it in an email to a group of friends recently — because that’s how it’s spelled in the title of a recent Oscar-nominated movie in which the preceding word in the title is also misspelled. And I think it was done that way because the movie is kind of remake of a 70s movie that had the correct spelling of both words in the title (preceded by “The”).

  5. Girlvaughn, Matt nailed the answer to your inquiry about my in-the-now spelling of “bastards.” I’m guilty of the intentional misspell but I blame Quentin Tarantino!

    And Evan, you’re right about the Office of Historic Resources. I contacted them last year when a craptastic sign was strung up from the stately columns of the historic church on Adams just east of Hoover and shazam, it was gone within a couple days! If the sign’s still up this weekend I’ll either bring a ladder to the scene of the crime and remove it myself or drop them a note.

  6. Moments ago, I received the following email from Blockbuster Online: “Blockbuster has shipped Inglourious Basterds [Special Edition] [Blu-ray] to you.”

    Woo-hoo! No spoilers now.

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