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Bob Sargeant: Get rid of junk mail and hazardly placed signs
Let's simplify our lives by getting rid of some of the junk.

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Date published: 7/11/2001

WITH ALL DUE respects to the mystery-meat company whose motto is "Everything But the Squeal," I think that America has about had its fill of spam.

I am referring to junk mail and the unsightly and potentially dangerous illegal signs that deluge the area.

I have developed strategies for dealing with each scourge. If you please, pass them along to your friends in the hope that soon the entire populace will be waging war against these obnoxious pestilences that blight our land.

Dealing with junk mail is simple: Always stuff postpaid envelopes with as much trash paper as they will hold, and mail them away.

Got a hankering to get the lowest credit-card rates on Earth? Want to sign the equity in your house over to the First National Bank of Khartoum?

Good. Then switch the contents of the junk mail, and send the credit-card stuff to the bank and send the home-equity offer to the credit-card company.

Maybe they will sue each other. If enough people do this, the junk-mailers' profits will decline and eventually they will get the message.

Are you 400 pounds overweight, own your own computer and want to make millions working from home?

Then call the number on the sign illegally posted on the state right of way, and you will get a $900 toll charge for calling Afghanistan.

When you get the bill, you will drop from size 14 to size 6 in only one week!

According to Larry Carneal, maintenance superintendent of VDOT's Edge Hill Area Headquarters, posting signs on state right of ways--and especially on road signs--is illegal.

Carneal says his crews are busy enough cleaning up other road hazards without having to deal with signs. I once removed a tall Realtor's sign that was in my line of sight at a busy intersection. The sign made it hazardous to enter a four-lane highway.

Such postings are inconsiderate and dangerous. I always try
to find the time to remove the schlocky signs that are illegally posted on state-maintained signposts.

These shoddy signs are low-rent, tacky and distract motorist's attention from legitimate signs. And they make the Fredericksburg area look like we are a Third World shoestring economy with no pride.

Imagine if you were an economic development director showing a big out-of-town prospect around the area, and it looked like every third person in the region was 400 pounds overweight and making millions working from home.