There is a man lives in the next town who has a homemade sign for just about every occasion. He doesn’t let things like punctuation, context or spelling get in his way, either. This often gives his signs an unplanned poetic dash. I often wonder if I don’t get the entire joke, when I read his signs. At the same time, bad punctuation and borderline creepy slogans make me nervous.
For instance, during the 2000 elections, he hand-painted a board that said “Clinton-GORE Master ‘BAITER’.” The gratuitous use of quotation marks made me wonder exactly what he was getting at. It’s because of this sign that Matt and I call him the Master Baiter when referring to him.
Master Baiter had a new sign up during the beginning of the Iraq war. It was shaped like a headstone and it said, “Uday Qusay Sad‘DAMN’ Rest in ‘PIECES’.” So much going on in so few words!
Master Baiter’s neighbor put up his own homemade sign last week. It said, “Defend America, defeat George Bush.” It has an international no sign around a pretty good caricature of Bush (John laughs out loud every time we pass it). Two days after it went up, someone spray-painted “FUCK JOHN KERRY” on it.
Well, Matt and I suspected Master Baiter, although it might have been almost TOO obvious. The neighbor still hasn’t taken the sign down, so everyone can see it.
Last night a stranger stopped by during that quiet early evening time when I’m nursing Maia, Matt’s in the bathroom, and John is dancing naked in his room listening to smooth jazz. Matt ran downstairs and I stood at a window upstairs to see who it was. I heard and unknown voice say, “Evening. Let me just say to you before anything else: You and I are on totally opposite ends of the political spectrum.”
Maia started grizzling, to I took her back to her room and got her to bed. Soon after the stranger left and Matt told me what had happened.
It was Master Baiter. He was coming by to tell us that not only was his neighbor’s sign vandalized, his neighbor’s house was attacked by paintballers two nights ago. He told Matt he was sure it was because of the Kerry sign, and he felt his neighbor was being attacked for his politics.
Master Baiter had seen our giant Kerry/Edwards signs and just wanted to let us know we should keep an eye out for ourselves. “I want to get those sonsabitches just as bad as my neighbor does,” he told Matt. “Attacking a house like that, at night. Goddamn cowards. It’s just not right.”
Thanks, Master Baiter.