This one pertains to my neck of the woods, but hopefully our international readers, as well as those of you from other regions of the good ol’ US of A, will enjoy this one as a bit of “local color.” Also, if you have ever traveled to the beach by way of Interstate 65 south through my home state of Alabama, you probably noticed the subject of this post on the left-hand side of the road. It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb, as it was intended to do. It’s a big honkin’ billboard, located just outside the Prattville exit, before you get to Montgomery, and it warns drivers to “Go to Church or The Devil will get you!” A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so peruse the one accompanying this article. The stereotypical scythe, the goatee, the tail, the billy goat horns, the requisite red coloration. (For any of you who may never have attended Sunday School, the Bible mentions none of these attributes. They actually originated in the Middle Ages, the result of clerics demonizing pre-Christian pagan religious figures like the Greek Pan and the Celtic Cernunnos.)
The sign was put up decades ago by a religious wackjob. With the passage of years, both the locals and those just passing through stopped taking the sign seriously, much to said wackjob’s dismay, no doubt, and started to view it affectionately, as a roadside curiosity. Driving south on the Interstate, you looked forward to passing the “Devil Sign.” It was a landmark. Unfortunately the sign was toppled last year by storm winds, but fortunately the owners of the property plan to put it back up, as good as new. Maybe it’ll be back by the time you take that next drive down to the beach. Make sure you look for it.