I pay far too much attention to billboards. You probably noticed this back when I talked about the Sizzler billboard. (It remains one of my favorite posts so if you haven’t yet read it, you now have a homework assignment.)
In the last few years I’ve seen a lot of billboards from the Foundation for a Better Life. This is a great non-profit organization that, according to their website, “creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our communities – values such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others.” I’m sure you’ve seen their billboards as well.
They have a somewhat new billboard up. I’m almost afraid to talk about it, because I don’t want to receive hate mail from people who think I’m belittling a national icon. I’m just going to put it out there right now–I’m not mocking him. I’m not even really mocking the ad. I’m mostly mocking myself, and the fact that the average person looking at this billboard doesn’t have the same thoughts that run through my head.
Here’s the billboard (from the Foundation for a Better Life website):
Nice billboard, right? It has a good message and features a well-loved public figure. (Unless you’re my friend Janice, who claims she doesn’t like Mr. Rogers. I think she might be a communist.)
Now I’m going to walk you through my thought process when I see this billboard. “Oh, look. Mr. Rogers. How nice. Won’t you be my neighbor? Friendship! Hey, wait a minute. Mr. Rogers is dead. How can I be his neighbor if he’s dead? Is Mr. Rogers saying he wants me dead, too? What the crap, Mr. Rogers? What did I ever do to you? Okay, now he looks kind of creepy. Like he’s trying to steal my soul. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY SOUL, MR. ROGERS! I WILL NOT BE YOUR NEIGHBOR MINION! Oh, hey–Wendy’s billboard. I’m kind of hungry. Maybe I should get a burger.”
That, my friends, is what goes on in my fully-medicated brain. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?