She Sobs She Sobs

I loooove billboards. And not just because I write them. Uh hem, that was me, proving how important my job is…to myself. Moving on, I’ve always loved billboards. Sure a lot of them are “lame” but I think it’s the good kind of lame. And I feel we have a particularly snazzy collection up and down the I-15 here between Provo, my old home, and Salt Lake, my new home. Tattoo removal anyone?

My FAVORITE billboard used to be “Game Processing.” I got such a kick out of it because it seemed so foreign and well, trashy. Plus it says, “jerky” on it, and has a forlorn looking elk outlined in drippy black paint. “Eat me!”

Another particularly fun billboard is the Humane Society’s. However this is really more of an electronic marquee of sorts with flashing pictures of adorable abandoned animals (you heartless prick) and their names. I like to, and I’m sure you to do, read the names out loud as I pass by.




And let us not forget the national campaign billboards that originated in our fair state, the “foundation for a better life” boards. You know, the pictures of people with the motivational phrase in a red box, like “Honesty” pass it on.

Sure, they kind of look like Successories, and sometimes I don’t think they are phrased that well. But man, every once and a while those suckers really get me.

This one in particular. I remember the first time I saw it, I was on a long run in Provo, and I saw it on a bus stop board. I was already emotional with my snort, snort, runners high, and this board just demolished me. I ran back to look at the board. I stopped dead in my tracks. Alex, sweet little Alex! I’m a horrible selfish, greedy person who is not grateful for a thing I have! Inspiration, oh, I’ll pass it on Alex! I will PASS IT ON! Then I cried for about 2 miles thinking about Alex and her lemonade stand. I’m welling up now. Oh, no, looked at it again, crying at work.

And more recently this one, this motivator for this post, has been provoking “touched” sobs.

Maybe it’s because I’m a runner. Or because I’ve read a lot about this father son duo. Or because I’ve worked at Hallmark. But this just takes me and whacks me against a wall. Sniff. 65! Sob. In fact I called my mom to tell her how lame I am for crying at the billboard, and I started crying when I described the billboard to her.

Anyway. I’m sure you’re not as much of an emotional mess as I am. And you keep your cool when you see billboards. But you can go to the Foundation for a Better Life website and read more about the stories of any of the people on the billboards.

Well I hope that was sufficiently sappy enough for you. But you know my policy…

Melodramatic Non-fiction Narratives

Pass it on.


  1. jenny

    you crack me up.

    May 8, 2008   |   Reply
  2. You are my fave...

    I seriously teared up when I just read this post. I’m such a sucker for anything sappy.

    May 8, 2008   |   Reply
  3. hanner

    amen sister. i love team hoyt.

    May 8, 2008   |   Reply
  4. hanner

    Also, here are a couple of my favorite billboards:

    “Modest is the new sexy” (or something along those lines, but isn’t that a little bit counter-intuitive, to have a scandalous model showing off modest clothes? anyway.)

    The RIP Brian Reagan billboard (that I’ve seen in Green River, St. George, Logan, Ogden… everywhere!)

    The creepy liver transplant one featuring Greg Ostertag from the Jazz. (I don’t think that’s up any more.)

    And the Husband and Wife modest lingerie store.

    Seriously, Utah billboards are the best. And most of them have been there since I was a freshman.

    May 8, 2008   |   Reply
  5. Club Narwhal

    oh. em. gee. i read these right before i left work (ok, fine, maybe it occupied the later half of my day) and cried tears due to inspiration. and then read like 7 book reports other children did on the lemonade stand. and cried some more.

    May 9, 2008   |   Reply
  6. Heather

    Have you seen the billboard that says “Escape Polygomy” and then a phone number? It’s AWESOME! You can find it heading south on the I-15 before the Provo Center St. exit.

  7. Adam and Darcie

    what about “ogre achiever?” i think my sister takes the cake for tearing up yesterday when she heard my brother sing “the colors of the wind” to his daughter. “i just think it’s so sweet-the animals, the earth…”

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