“It Opened up my Eyes, I Saw the Sign”

23. Get the “tattoos are ugly” sign or whatever that thing in the field is.


First goal of Summer 2015 is officially crossed off! The accompanying backstory is quite lengthy and mysterious. [NOTE: Sorry about the title of this post. I’m on a bit of a Pitch Perfect kick these days]

I think it might have been during Fall 2014 when I noticed a rather large sign in the middle of an overgrown field next to Route 10 (known lovingly by some as THE HAMP STRETCH) in Northampton (very close to the border of Easthampton, but technically over “the line”). The sign was obviously handmade and was set back in the field quite a-ways but still legible. It said, boldly:


Simple, sweet, to the point. The sign was so intriguing to me. Who put it there? Why did they REALLY have to tell the people coming from Easthampton to Northampton or vise versa their opinion on body art? Were they trying to change something or just kind of venting? I was so curious and unfortunately, all of my questions are still unanswered. (Just to tell you now so you don’t keep reading in hopes that I was able to uncover this mystery. I wasn’t able. You can stop reading now, if you want.)

Anyway, I decided I wanted to get a closer look. And almost just when I decided that, it was gone.

I forgot about the sign the next few months, despite driving on The Hamp Stretch almost everyday. However, a few weeks ago, I noticed that in the same spot there was a sign, only it was flat on the ground, so its back was up. I didn’t know if it was FOR SURE the Tattoos are Ugly sign; it could’ve been cardboard or trash or something else. Still, I wanted to know more.

I added this to my list because I WANTED the sign. I thought it was so funny and abrupt and weird. I wanted to save it for an apartment of sorts or just to say that I have the infamous Tattoos are Ugly sign. And if the sign wasn’t there, I wanted to pick up whatever trash that was in that lovely field.

I had asked Nick to join me with this adventure. Today we drove on Route 10 and parked on the side of the street. Nick, scared of ticks, called the field “Tick City”. For that reason, I put on my Smarty Pants, sweatpants with signatures of all the students at my school that I had tested in various assessments. Nick still had shorts on. SORRY.

I walked in the field which was definitely more overgrown than I thought and definitely Tick City. Eventually I saw that upside-down something and found that it had metal (and now rusty) bars on the back of it to hold it up. Nick pointed out that the sign was broken in half. We were afraid an animal (we kept mentioning snakes) would come out if we lifted it up, but I did it anyway and sure enough…

Me, Smarty Pants, nature, and THE SIGN.

Me, Smarty Pants, nature, and THE SIGN.

It was there (the sign, not a snake)! Broken in half, but still there (with fresh roots growing under it) I would’ve totally taken it with me but it was broken, rusty, and very heavy.


We left the sign for the next pair who wanted to find it. And we drove off and saw Pitch Perfect 2 (very good).

So there you have it. The first Summer goal of 2015. Like many others, it was weird, it was fun, it was weird fun.

Thanks, Samantha


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