By BEN R. WILLIAMS
Author’s note: I’ve noticed that the “NO TRESPASSING” signs I’ve nailed up on my property have had little to no effect on trespassers, so I’ve decided to create my own sign which I plan to erect as soon as I can afford 700 square feet of sheet metal. The text of my sign follows below:
No, seriously, I mean it.
Why haven’t you turned around yet? This sign is extremely clear in its intent. And I’m going to be honest with you, the previous five “NO TRESPASSING” signs that you blew past were pretty clear as well. We can break down the message as follows: “trespassing” means “to enter the owner’s land or property without permission,” while “no” means “don’t do that thing, what’s wrong with you?”
Given these definitions, anyone who has my permission to enter the property is welcome to do so. If you want to know if you have permission to enter the property, ask yourself the following question: has the author of this sign, Ben R. Williams, ever told me in person or on the telephone that I am welcome to come up to this property? If the answer is no, then you are trespassing. I am trying to be polite about this. Honestly, I am trying.
If you are still unclear on the meaning of this sign, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I on this property because I want to tell the resident about a religion? If the answer is yes, turn around immediately, because the resident is familiar with religion and does not require further information.
- Am I on this property to ask the resident if I can hunt here? If so, then turn around immediately, because the resident does not want you shooting the nature that he enjoys so very much. The resident does not have anything against hunting, he just doesn’t want it happening on his property. Is that so much to ask? For God’s sake, is that really so much to ask?
- Am I on this property because I like driving down random dirt roads in Patrick County to enjoy the scenery? If the answer is yes, turn around immediately. Also, don’t drive down random dirt roads in Patrick County because that’s a good way to get a 12 gauge slug embedded in your engine block.
Let us pause a moment. Look around you. You will notice that you are in a secluded area. There are trees everywhere. Birds are singing. Butterflies are on the wing. Distantly, a frog croaks. There are few signs of civilization.
Do you know what kind of person chooses to live in a place like this? That’s right: someone who enjoys being isolated! And do you know what a person like that does not enjoy? That’s right: being awakened at 8 a.m. on a Saturday by a stranger who drove past five “NO TRESPASSING” signs to ask if he can hunt on the property!
I just don’t understand. Why are you still reading this sign? Why haven’t you turned around yet?
Listen: when I get home, I just want to relax and do my own thing. Isn’t everyone entitled to that? Do I really need to be interrupted from the movie I’m watching so that people I’ve never met can tell me about their church? I’m sure it’s a fine church, but how would you like it if I showed up there one Sunday morning and interrupted the pastor to talk about how great my house is? Not so funny when the shoe is on the other foot, is it?
Have you seen a picture of me? What’s the point of looking like this if people still knock on my door and bother me?
Do I really have to put up a gate? I don’t want to have to get out of my car and open a gate every time I leave my property. I was going to buy one of those motorized gates, but do you have any idea how much those things cost? Then I’ve got to bury half a mile of wiring! I figured a bunch of signs would be cheaper, but WHAT A FOOL I WAS.
Anyway, no trespassing.