My Public Apology to Saegertown, PA

Dear Borough Leaders,

I'm sorry I stole one of your street signs back in 1990. Sure, I could blame peer pressure, the recklessness of youth, etc, but really the fault is mine.

I was driving around with my ex-boyfriend and one of his friends (Hi, Tony! Hi, Geoff!). I don't even remember where we were coming from. But, I do know I didn't want to just drop them off and end the evening. I was still in the Denial Phase of the ex-boyfriend situation. That phase lasted almost as long as the relationship did, come to think of it.

Anyway, I was driving my parents' car, and my Dad, Mister Super Boy Scout that he is, always has a tool kit and other just-in-case stuff in the car. I think Geoff might have noticed the tool kit under the front seat and commented on it. I'm embarrassed to admit that I think it was my idea to use the tools to take some street signs. I wanted to seem like more of a trouble-seeking fun girl than the teacher's pet, goody-goody I really was.

We drove all around southern Erie and northern Crawford counties, looking for good prospects. You know -- interesting sign, busted street light, isolated country road.... We got our routine down to a well-drilled sign-stealing system. We'd drive by, discuss the prospects of a given opportunity for about another half-mile, I'd make a U-turn and we'd pull up to the sign. After I'd stopped the car, the guys would jump out with the tools, and I'd run around back and pop the trunk. They'd double-team the nuts and bolts (which we'd thriftily screw back onto the sign posts). They'd throw the sign in the trunk, and I'd already be back behind the wheel ready to speed away (without looking like we were speeding away ... you know ... flying casual). We could have evolved into the Bonnie and Clyde ... and Clyde of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

At one point, Tony had a couple of decent-sized signs, and Geoff was trying to disassemble one of those orange-striped warning barrier thingies. He really just wanted the big blinker light assembly off the top of it. At some point he gave up and we helpfully placed it over a pothole.

We really wanted one of the No Skateboarding on the Sidewalk signs we saw, but (alas!) they were all in well-traveled, well-lit areas.

Eventually, the guys noticed that I didn't have any souvenirs for the evening and started egging me on to pick something out. I reminded them that my parents would freak if I walked in with a big ol' street sign. I had to have something that would fit in my purse. (Granted, it was a giant 80s purse, so there was some leeway there.)

I have to admit that before this little episode of hooliganism, I never fully realized just how large street signs are. I had no idea that stop signs are almost 30-inches across. I mean, I get it that visibility is important. But, these things are BIG. And heavy.

Well, long story short, I wound up with a small street sign. The smallest one we could find, in fact. We especially liked its slightly salacious wording.

It graced my college dorm room for years. I perched it on a windowsill near my desk when I got my own apartment. In fact, I still have it. It's sitting not 18 inches from my left elbow. At some point my children will notice that it's a street sign and ask where I got it. Thus will begin another in what will undoubtedly be a long line of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do lessons.

In any case, please accept this apology. If you want, I could send you the $10.95 to replace it.


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