And now for something completely different. Joanna and I traveled to Vermont two weeks ago and first saw the sign below near the town of Manchester. In addition to its five colorful icons it included lettering which read Tourist Information. My first reaction was to the blue spinning wheel, neither Joanna nor I had ever seen such a thing and agreed that it must be telling the traveling public that opportunities to look at and purchase antiques abound in the area. We determined to stop to get a picture of Joanna next to the sign on the return trip … for the simple delight of adding yet another spinning wheel to her collection. Three days later we did stop but when we got home, and upon examination of the image, we were both perplexed. We understood the meaning of the red icon – lodging, the orange icon – food, the blue icon – antiques, and the brown icon – parks … but what in the world could be the meaning of the last icon in black? Neither of us had a clue. Surely a Google search was in order. We had a little competition, the first to determine the meaning of the black icon would be the winner. We each worked our Google magic, to no avail. We tried again the next evening, and again, no luck. The next morning I tried calling the folks at, The Official State of Vermont Tourism Site, and no one would answer the phone.

Before I go any further … what do you think the black icon means?

Unsure about the best way to solve the mystery I pulled out all the stops and got in touch with fellow blogger Tammy at Wing and a Prayer Farm, in Vermont, surely she would know what to do. Several hours later she replied and said that although she did not recognize the icon she would get back to me. Yesterday Tammy did in fact email the much-anticipated resolution to this most thorny problem. For the definitive word she had gotten in touch with a Project Manager at the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The meaning of the black icon? Let’s make it a multiple choice. The black icon in the sign below means …

A. Sideways Window ahead.
B. Baseball Diamond ahead.
C. Other Goods and Services ahead.
D. Moose Crossing ahead.
E. None of the above is correct.


The correct answer is C. Can you believe it? I couldn’t. I imagine that it takes a very large and learned group of folks to come up with icons such as these. Given that this may be the case, how in the world did such a group determine that our icon of interest should represent Other Goods and Services? Am I missing something? I am eager to know what sort of logic was used to come to this conclusion. End of story, thanks for listening.

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