The Sign

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The night air was crisp with both adrenaline and a calmness that cannot be described. I had never contemplated breaking the law intentionally before. It was a new feeling that, for the right reasons, felt awkwardly pleasing. However, there were a million thoughts flying around in my head at once. I was going over and over the plan and it just felt right.

Everything started quite a few years ago when the city of Bluff City decided to annex the strip of highway stretching from Bristol to Johnson City. This road is better known as Bristol highway. The sole purpose of this annexation was based upon profit from local businesses that line this road and draw lots of income from Piney Flats residents. In a nutshell, Bluff City is drawing massive amounts of income out of citizens who have lived in and supported Piney Flats for years. This wasn't even the problem.

The problem begins when Bluff City decided to place a sign in the comfort zone of many Piney citizens. The sign was planted just across the highway from the church of which I am a member since an early age. There were, of course, those who say "what ought ta be done with that damn sign." But there was only one who actually felt compelled to take action.

The night I was preparing for this feat is a night I'll never forget. I had old, worn out, tennis shoes that had no traction left on the sole whatsoever. This way the police only had a shoe size with no print. I was, of course, dressed in black from head to toe. It was show time. I crept out of my house and walked briskly down the road, making sure to keep out of sight. I avoided every street light and vehicle that I could and finally made it across where I camped in the bushes a while gathering my bearings. Once I saw there were no cars coming, I sprang to my feet and started spray-painting the sign black to kind of block out the letters. The plan was successful! The next day there were more police officers investigating that area than a crime scene, it was truly a sight to behold. A few weeks following the police placed a fake, broken-down, car in front of the sign with a surveillance camera in the back window to attempt to catch the vandal on film. Little did they know, I had already driven by and waved for the camera twice. The whole story blew up and I had to tell some friends. The entire thing came back around to me and I confessed with pride. My reasoning for this was because of my fathers statement before he knew who the vandal was, "I wish I knew who did that, I'd give 'em a trophy." The plain and simple fact was that I was a hero for a while. Everyone raised enough hell to have it taken to city. After several meetings, they decided to move the sign back down the road closer to Bluff City. I will never forget the way I felt to have my bus driver offer to pay the fine. When there is something bothering you to the point of frustration you should always think it through but do something about it and get the ball rolling. I like the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words."