Red X Yellow Arrow


   By the time the fog burns off, dozens if not a hundred runners will feel the burn at a marathon and half-marathon laid out at my favorite watering spot. Lines of cars and legions of contestants stream onto the road. My walk is cut short to yield the right of way to fast-paced people who are strangers to me. 

    This occasion calls for good organization. Good organization calls for orderliness. Consider it done.

    Basic guidance is being given courtesy of helpful people behind the scenes. Color paper plates display a kind of code to make the race more of a picnic. This system is clean, simple and direct, without the mess of flour arrows.

    A red paper plate, with a black X marked on it, has been posted to the right by the steep steps at the covered bridge. “Stay away from here,” it seems to say. A few yards away, a black arrow on a yellow paper plate shows the way to stay on course.

   If I were a rich man, just to nail it, I would post a blue plate with a drawing of a heron on it, a yellow with smiley face and a green with an X to keep off the grass.

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