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If you look around, you’ll notice that there are signs seemingly everywhere telling us to be careful, look out, stay alert!

Where I live, there are signs on the highway that tell you to keep your eyes on the road and not drive distracted. (Um, I would, but I’m busy looking at this sign.) Everywhere, you only have to pop into any McDonald’s and buy a cup of coffee to be warned that “contents are hot.” (I hope so.) Tags on irons warn you to not iron clothes while you are wearing them because you could burn yourself. (Really?)

The signs that are most striking to me are those that are illustrated with stick figures. These poor little guys are being injured, maimed, and killed in stark examples of bad luck and/or stupidity. I saw one at the Grand Canyon that showed a little stick guy falling to his death from a precipice. Hopefully most people realize without being told that getting too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon could result in death, but what do I know?

Don't trip on solid black lines!

Don’t trip on solid black lines!

One that I won’t forget is the sign attached to the gate of a community where some relatives of mine lived. The gate would automatically open when a car drove up to it, and then close again. The sign showed the poor stick schmuck crushed in the closed gate, little stick arms and legs all akimbo. Nothing says “welcome to the neighborhood” quite like a picture of an excruciating death.

Must we really be told that irons and coffee are hot, jumping into the Grand Canyon will turn you into a human pancake, and standing between a closing mechanized iron gate will leave a mark? How stupid are we, anyway?

Please don't try to commit suicide with the gas nozzle when you see how much this is going to cost you.

Please don’t try to commit suicide with the gas nozzle when you see how much this is going to cost you.