Read(ing) the signs

Read(ing) the signs

Ace: I’ve seen signs for 1-800-GOT-JUNK posted up all over town. What are they for? And aren’t they getting in trouble putting signs up everywhere?—Tad L. Tayle

Tad: Ace used to have a friend just like you. He always colored inside the lines, never drank his milk directly from the carton and always put the seat down after he used the toilet. Ace’s friend also never touched a girl (at least, we all thought she was a girl) until he was 27, but Ace digresses.

Actually, 1-800-GOT-JUNK is the "World’s Largest Junk Removal Company," according to its website. You make an appointment and they’ll come to your house and (for a fee related to the amount of items you have) remove the junk. And you’re right, Tad, they have been scattering signs all about town.

As he’s prone to do, Ace got to thinking on a broader scale: What about signs for yard sales? Or lost pets? Does one need a permit to post a sign for little lost Daisy? Ace went looking for answers, which led him directly to Read Brodhead, Charlottesville’s zoning administrator. Not surprisingly, razor-sharp Read was already aware of the 1-800-GOT-JUNK signs and had spoken to the company’s owner specifically. Posting signs on utility posts is illegal, he told him, and they should be taken down post haste.

In regard to Ace’s other questions, signs for yard sales or lost pets are, unfortunately, also illegal. Violators of this code, Read says, are sent a notice and given 10 days to remove the sign. It seems to Ace, however, that if one wanted to sell one’s secondhand goods on one’s front lawn, one could post a sign a week before one’s sale, cross one’s fingers and hope for the best. If the sign goes unnoticed, so much the better. If, however, things go awry, well, it’s just simple math: Ten days to remove the sign minus seven days before the sale equals one successful brocante (that’s the French equivalent of a yard sale, folks).

As for little Daisy, well, if you can’t find her in 10 days, you must not have loved her that much to begin with.

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