1996 — Robert Dorton barricaded himself in his residential motel room in Billings, Mont., in August and held police off for more than 30 hours, firing dozens of shots at them, because he feared authorities were about to take away his 15 pet rats, some of which were reported to be the size of cats. Before the siege, according to animal-control officer Mary Locke, Dorton kissed one of the rats and referred to them as “my brothers.” Right then, she said, “I knew what I was up against.”
Personally, I think Mary Locke would make an interesting main character. I like characters who do something for a living that is out of the ordinary.
I’ve always wondered about the invisible people who design and put up road signs. I think that profession harbors more than a few independent thinkers and odd ducks. Especially in England and Scotland.
Take, for example, this street sign on the left. Yes, it is in fact a semicolon. The whole story (and a close up) is here along with other odd street signs, including one of a squid. My favorite all time street sign in England (my dearly beloved is a Brit, so I have spent a good amount of time there) is this one on the right. Very existential, no? In fact it’s the odd English way of telling you that the authorities have been messing with the right-of-way patterns in an upcoming intersection. This particular photo of the changed priorities sign comes from the cover of an album put out by the group British Andy.
So the question is, what do an animal control officer in Montana and a sign maker from, say, Edinburgh, have to say to each other? Anything?