Signs of the times

Today I saw a delightful sign outside a restaurant. To emphasize the rustic nature of the establishment, the sign maker had built each individual letter out of hand-whittled wooden sticks.

Clearly a lot of work had gone into the effort, and the result was worth it. Just looking at that sign made some part of me want to abandon my city slicker ways and live off the land, like our ancestors did once upon a time.

But then I looked at the sign again, and I realized that the text on the bottom line was the restaurant’s phone number. At first I hadn’t noticed this little bit of culture shock because we don’t generally think about phone numbers any more.

But there it was, if you cared to look: an iconic symbol of modernity, represented by little pieces of rough-hewn hand-whittled wood.

And I couldn’t help but wondering: Maybe someday soon we will see that same beautifully old-fashioned sign, but with the phone number replaced by a URL — lovingly carved in rustic little hand-whittled wooden letters.

Or maybe not a URL — maybe a hashtag.

Or maybe whatever is going to come after the hashtag. Your guess is as good as mine.

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