Strange things happen as a nation disintegrates. Sadly, the sign I saw in Topsham today is but a trivial example of this maxim. I’m warm-blooded, but I’ll try to keep my voice down.

The hate speech, written (illegally) on a highway sign, was far from loquacious: In an attempt to stop a panhandler in the area, it simply read “refuses to work.”

It’s odd. When I volunteer at the food pantry, I see hordes of individuals showing up with their work uniforms on, struggling to put food on the table. (Their lack of cynicism is startling.) We’re all but a step away from joining them in that line, and I’m not about to refuse someone food (or money) because they refuse to starve.

I’m sure I’ll pass by the sign tomorrow and shake my head. I do hope my friend is there, so I can make another contribution. After all, my belly’s full.

Douglas Antreassian