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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Daily Platitudes

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 10. Hilltop: Daily Platitudes

In addition to sculptors and painters, there is a more literal sub-species of yard artist known as the yard author. These creators are small in numbers and usually have big problems finding successful ways to transform the three-dimensional space of their yards into a single coherent message. Most yard authors use a black, felt-tipped marker, with little regard for spelling and spacing, to scrawl their verbose messages onto poster board that is stapled to a wooden stake and hammered into the lawn. The poor sign placement and the weather-curled corners make it nearly impossible for curious passers-by to even read the important conspiratorial warnings. In a strange twist of fate, the more words a yard author uses to decorate a yard, the less time his neighbors want to spend talking to him.

A quick look at the dozens of multi-messaged sign posts surrounding the Hilltop home seen here suggest that this yard author's neighbors quit talking to him long ago. Presumably, he's enjoyed plenty of alone time in his workshop machining all the rough edges off of the human condition and then posting his moral problem-solvers as perfect, screen-printed platitudes. A jolly jargon display of this magnitude indicates that the home owner has a latent superiority complex. The size and spacing of each sign reveals that this yard author loves uniformity and is enjoying every second of his life nagging his neighbors into being nicer people.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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