Sign war between Virginia businesses brings communities together

·2 min read

Everyone was getting along just fine in Christiansburg, Virginia. Until Jim Bohon started trouble, because he had "nothing better to do."

Bohon, who manages the Bridge Kaldro music store, fired the first salvo in what is rapidly devolving into world war.

It started when Bohon put up a sign aimed at his shoe store neighbor that said, "Hey Super Shoes, wanna start a sign war?" The shoe store fired back with, "Our shoestrings are stronger than your guitar string."

The sign at Bridge Kaldro music store that started the sign war.  / Credit: Bridge Kaldro Music
The sign at Bridge Kaldro music store that started the sign war. / Credit: Bridge Kaldro Music

So it was game on. "After that I put back, 'Yea, but your shoestrings never got anyone a date,'" Bohon said.

It escalated quickly, and then it proliferated. With the exception of those pacifist hippies down at Power Equipment Supply — who protested, "Make love, not sign war" — just about every other business in and around Christiansburg signed-up to join the fight. Each threw shade bombs at their fellow business owners. There were no rules of engagement. Everyone is fair game.

"Everybody and their grandma has gotten in on it," Bohon said.

Businesses without signs are improvising. Even those normally above the fray are posting passages.

Over the past several months, this war has gone viral on social media and skirmishes are flaring up in such far-flung places as Listowel, Ontario, where Speedy Glass instigated.

"I simply said, 'Hey DQ, wanna have a sign war?' They replied back within about 20 minutes saying, 'You bet your glass we do,'" Trevor Cork said.

Since then, Cork said, the conflict has spread across the province. "You pretty much drive through any town in Ontario right now and they have a sign war going," he said.

"I've often thought, where is this going to go and how is it going to end and is it going to end?" Bohon said.

Hopefully not — because no war has ever brought more people together.

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