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Monday, December 13, 2004

Attention! Godzilla! Beware!

So today I'm out walking Tito down by the Miyagawa (the local river), having a pleasant stroll in the crisp late-autumnal air, breathing in the scent of wood smoke and watching Tito generally harass the local duck population. In other words, a pretty damn fine time. Until, blasting out from unseen speakers scattered around the entire river valley comes this (click to listen).

Pretty damn creepy. I expected, at any moment, to see a giant green head appear over the treeline. But, as it turns out (when I played the recording back to Miyuki), that the disembodied voice was merely wishing me a Happy New Year and exhorting me to drive safely.... damn! send me a card (I'll certainly keep my pants cleaner).

Actually, public spaces here are filled with all kind of PSA's and encouragements towards correct behavior. Driving along the local highways, metallic owls sit perched above the roadways flashing blinking eye's down at sleepy drivers imploring them to "stay awake, maintain focus!" Or signs that plead "Father, slow down, your children are waiting at home". But sometimes, props make the point better. It's not uncommon to see this by the side of the road:

"Remember, unwary driver, the next armless child you strike down in your haste could be your own."

It's all very paternal, and just a bit creepy.