Centuries from now when archeologists undercover the ruins of the fabled “Ancient (Sound) Walled City of the Great Central Valley” said to be six miles north of the “Ripon Water Tower of the Gods”, they will come across peculiar markings on the ground.
The markings — using white paint on an asphalt like substance riddled with cracks and missing large chunks that they will conclude were once roads that were said to always have been between block walls in the ancient city — will baffle archeologists.
This will force them to consult ancient books such as the California Vehicle Code that folklore says was compiled so citizens of the once great city state could use them to prop up cars in disrepair in front lawns and driveway that were missing wheels.
They also will look for answers in other ancient writings to try to find out what it what early 21st century philosopher Mike Brown of the Oakwood Resort Empire meant when he devised a jingle urging folks to “walk like a Mantecan.”
Using various pieces of historic relics, they may start to piece together a picture of the relevance of the white markings.
It may take time but they will realize they were meant to regulate travel for commerce and passing through the ancient city.
The following is what they may determine various markings may mean:
Much debate exists about what the leaders of Manteca meant by having these lines placed on roadways of commerce.
Some believe it was meant that anyone stepping inside the lines was fair game. Others contend they offered pedestrians a false sense of security as 250 horses came barreling down on them.
These lines were found mostly at intersections.
There is one school of thought that insists that anyone under the age of 19 who walked within them as they departed temples of knowledge would be subject to being ostracized by their peers and would become outcasts.
Several historians muse that their colleagues are way off base.
They say they’ve found evidence that these were “lines of death” and that some 21st century Mantecans practiced a death game where they got into massive two-ton metal machines and drove them at high rates of speeds toward fellow citizens who weighed anywhere from 40 to 250 pound as they walked between the lines.
When contact was made, the culprit piloting the metal won the game if he or she could offer a convincing reason why they struck their fellow citizen.
Ancient writings show the excuses ranged from the fact they were chatting on a primitive, hand-held personal communication device to plucking their eye brows or shaving.
At some areas where wider pieces of cracked asphalt met, the Mantecans instead of just painting two parallel lines going from cement curbing uplifted by trees from one side of the asphalt to another cement curb uplifted by trees put a series of lines at 90 degree angles between the two curb-to-curb lines.
There is a school of thought these were supposed to draw attention to a primitive art form known as walking that many Mantecans eschewed.
Some archeologists believe these are simply tally marks painted every time life forms that moved about not wrapped in steel got in the way of those running late to get to their domiciles so they could pay tribute to the Amazon god that would shower them with gifts on their doorsteps.
The Mark of ‘X’
This road painting of an ‘X” that was often accompanied by the initials “RR” has perplexed students of the fabled walled city for years.
At first they believed it was in reference to two steel beams that crossed the roads of commerce at grade level. These beams, they ascertained, were something to be held in reverence by travelers.
But then ancient books kept by the authorities revealed photos of massive vehicles parked at times on top of the two beams. This surely could not have been a sign of reverence or respect for whatever power was transported within or on the beams.
One theory that hasn’t been discredited involves the 21st century obsessions with the “X” as a mark to hit using personal weapons. As the theory goes, ancient Mantecans would take these steel vehicles and place them on the beams as if there were altars of sacrifice.
The chosen ones would then be struck by some overwhelming powerful force moving at great speed to take them to the promised land.
Still others contend the “X” was largely an artistic sign representing death.
These markings have been found in the middle of roads of commerce. Usually they were between other lines that were painted yellow.
The Book of DMV — considered the bible of how to behavior by those who belonged to the Law & Order Cult — contains a passage that says these were used for turning into places of commerce on the opposite side of the road.
However, evidence unearthed at the Great Civic Center where security forces were housed reveals that many used these as a bonus travel lane.
This has stumped archeologists who are trying to figure the significance of the arrows within two sets of parallel double yellow lines. Were these lanes for the privileged that were above the law? Could they have been used for a 21st century version of charging gladiators?
Some theories abound is that this is where people took their personal chariots to travel in a forward motion if they wanted to terrorize others in the traveling public for sport.
The meaning of ‘STOP’
This is another marking that has stumped archeologists.
In modern-day English, the four letters strung together mean to cease what you are doing and not to keeping going.
However, this is apparently not what the word meant to 21st century people that drove like a Mantecan.
Primitive video examined by forensic scientists that show footage of where these pavement marking were placed shows hardy anyone slowed down much let alone stopped where they saw these letters.
The videos also show “STOP” placed on strange octagon signs with red backgrounds.
Folklore handed down through the ages tells of a “California STOP.”
Legend has it that this simply involved slowing down. Those executing it got extra points from barely pausing before going forward.
Whatever the markings mean one thing is clear — Mantecans were required to observe signs posted with numbers and letters such as 25 mph, 35 mph, and 45 mph — before driving over the painted symbols.
Yellowed pieces of paper have been unearthed with numbers and letters corresponding to those previously mentioned with another number following it that was usually at least 10 higher that was also accompanied with the letters “mph”. Apparently this functioned as tickets for rewards allowing those lucky enough to be the few caught to be ushered into a great court where they felt complied to say the Land of Manteca security forces were blind and out to get them.
In our next look at what archeologists uncovered sifting through the ruins of the fabled “Ancient (Sound) Walled City of the Great Central Valley”, we will explore the puzzling practice of parking 7 to 10 vehicles in front yards while letting vegetation dry out.
This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org