Signing stuff… why..?

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You don’t know do you?

I’m pretty sure that, like me, from a young age you were told to practice your signature. You were probably scratching something vaguely resembling your future signature in the desk at high school. Formally declaring your everlasting love to your new girl/boy friend. To be eternally together. A permanent fixture in the world and happily ever after and all that. At least until dinner break anyway. Or home time if he/she was a keeper.

No doubt your parents (or guardian*) actively encouraged you to practice your signature. “Ooh you must learn how to sign your name!” You were enthusiastically told. Without explanation as to why. No pertinent reasons given or questions asked or answered. No unspoken suggestion that to not know how to sign your name may result in some kind of punishment. Possibly a few years in a state prison or maybe working in a local drive thru fast food thingy. Easily one of the most cold, faceless jobs available (“here’s your mechanically separated, ultra processed, sugar laden, refined hydrogenated fat drenched, packaged in something you’ll be throwing away in a minute, transported across the sea on the back of a dying turtle alongside a container ship full of refugees with a limited air supply…. food sir..do you want some sugar and a straw? Or should I just empty the whole contents into the paper bag, mush it around a bit and drown a baby cow with the remaining mush? You’d like that wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?“)

(*Guardian… who ever ticks this one? Is this akin to a guardian as in ‘of the galaxy?’ No one ever describes themselves as a guardian. Unless you’re in a sci-fi film. Guarding a gate. And only then it’s because no one gets to know your name yet. Or because your part is that small. Maybe ‘Quiet Guardian 1’)

So you venture through your teenage years. Quietly practicing your signature for the day to come when it’s needed. You proudly wield a favoured pen in the hope that somone, somewhere will need the power of your name written in your best curly-cue. Emblazoned on the bottom of a carbon copy sheet when a parcel arrived (before all this fancy touchscreen signing bullshit started)

You eventually get to adulthood. Strangely you don’t really think about your signature. It’s something that is just part of your normal armoury. Something you use to navigate the world. I do wonder though…. If it’s something so innocuous then why does anything of importance or officialdom require you to adorn it with your signature? It’s essentially a meaningless, ephemeral thing. “You’ve signed for this four year loan on a ride on lawn mower sir. It’s yours.”, “But I live in a tenth floor apartment!” , “you should have thought of that before you signed sir. Now please take delivery of this before I speak to the authorities and have to summon some heavies. You know sir, some muscle. Let’s keep this clean sir. No need for trouble.”

So you sign shit. All the fucking time. And it ties you to it. And can be thrust in your face at the first sign of any reneging on any deals “any cunt could have signed that!” You protest. Yes. A cunt signed it. You.

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