Few things are as unique as the signature, right? My own personal signature is certainly unique. Actually, it’s a non-stop-visual-horror-fest which I regret every time someone makes me create it (fortunately for me and them this is rare, as even when the post-lady delivers parcels, she’s always in a rush and that suits me. Anything to avoid mutilating another signature). I often think to myself I wish I could go back in time to the moment when it started to go seriously down-hill. Start again. Get it right. Maybe not right, but righter than it is. Because at one time way back, just for the smallest amount of time, maybe, it must at least have said CGP, instead of 2012s version, which might be xdfgtyuk or poiugfc!
See, much as I try and stall my signature in time and hold onto a legible version that makes some kind of sense and looks half-decent, it never bloody works, so I’ve given up. I tried it once a few years ago and managed to hold onto that formation for about 3 days. But then I woke up one day, crushed an exceedingly unfortunate snail bare-foot — I’m sure it was the same one I’d moved two deays earlier, I have no idea how it managed to be in the exact same place again — and came back in the house all angry and had to sign for a parcel five minutes later. Big mistake. Ever since that incident, it’s all been downhill from there. I don’t even try and make my signature look good anymore, or legible. My signature: grim and bold like a man flashing while engaging in Twister. What’s the point? Signatures are like viruses: they just keep progressing and progressing and you cannot keep up with them…
But then, maybe the problem is that I am someone who doesn’t take pride in his signature. I would have to be forced to take pride in it. Because if I exist, which I feel sure about, then there must also, probably, be people at the other end of the spectrum. Men, women and teenage geeks who either spend countless hours obsessing over the correct articulation of their Ns and Bs, or those who just have a natural gift for recalling their signature at will, the same each and every time. I’m not sure I believe that theory, is the thing. A signature in a time-warp seems wrong to me. Seems un-natural. Maybe, if a signature is recreated the same each and every time, it is not really a signature. After all, nothing maintains personality like a horrendous indescribable signature, right?
Course, another good reason for having a terrible signature is more practical. This will surely make other perfect-signature-obsessives start to re-think their whole anal hand-writerly campaign. And it is this: if I have an ever-evolving signature, let’s see someone copy it in any precise way! That’s not a challenge, by the way. I really would prefer it if you didn’t go through our bins.
So today I learned that my useless signature makes me copy-proof. It feels really good to be copy-proof, but I’m sure you’re like me or know someone like me, so you probably know what I mean. Perhaps. If I don’t know what the hell my own signature’s gonna look like the next day, then good luck to anyone else. Not that they’d want to copy my signature. Unless they were doing an MA in Worst signatures of all-time. In which case I’d be offended if they didn’t at least try.
Maybe you’re thinking, now, that because I don’t really care much for my own signature, I don’t really care much for other peoples. And you’d be 100% correct about that — although in my defense I will say that I do appreciate why they would get just a little bit excited. Yes, some of them are interesting and you can spend many hours wondering what the hell was going through a person’s mind in order to create something that looked so un-like their name or initials — not that I would, I don’t need to, I am one — but generally, to me, they’re just squiggles. I should probably be interested, seeing as I’m an artist — or used to be, to be honest I haven’t painted in ages, I’ve been too busy writing novels and making anatomically correct Great White Sharks — but I really am not. If I needed to tell you. And the one thing I am even less interested in than that is collecting signatures as a hobbyist. I suppose you could get all nostalgic and feel all faint knowing that a certain once alive and very famous person held that same piece of paper, or at least sort of leaned on it, or breathed in it, or slept in the bed next to it, but to me signature collecting seems bizarre. It’s just paper, with ink or pencil on it, and a highly unique squigglething that defines it as what some perceive to be special. Don’t get me wrong, I can be nostalgic with the best of them, but give me a blackbird singing on a roof any day.
But then again, who knows? Maybe one day I will get really into signature collecting. My dad always used to be indifferent towards antiques, but now he’s always watching Bargain Hunt with David Dickinson’s turbo-tanned face, and he bloody loves it!