The joy and splendor of travel lost on one man

This Week in Graffiti, #3


Greetings from Barcelona, where the world is your canvas as long as you have a can of spray paint and no common regard for other people’s property.

In this episode tourists take a beating, John Rambo swaps his machine guns for a paint brush, and Walter: International Dog of Intrigue wonders how he’ll open a can of dog food if I get killed by aliens.


1. “Kills” is a strong word.


Millions of tourists swarm Barcelona every year, but I wouldn’t say tourism “kills the city.” That’s a bit dramatic. Instead, if I were this author I would have written, “Tourism turns my hometown into a throbbing hell hole full of clueless Americans dragging refrigerator-size suitcases up and down my sidewalks in search of their illegal AirBnB; drunken British bachelor parties puking into the Mediterranean at 10:00am; and bewildered Japanese tour groups dashing off to find the next Gaudí landmark on their itineraries.”


2. See above.



3. See above above.



4. Variation on a theme.


Well, yeah, eventually they do. So why not lighten up and stop defacing private property?


5. Amen, brother.


I’m not a religious man, but I agree that Sunday mass is no place for gawking visitors. Leave the worshippers alone. Instead, if you’re a tourist why not spend your time at one of Barcelona’s godless, money-grubbing, tourist magnets like the beach, Parc Güell, or La Sagrada Familia?


6. Talk about spray painting yourself in the foot.




7. Better than an enraged one.


I’m sorry Rambo is bored, but there’s really no excuse for it. It’s like my mom always told me: “If you’re bored, just go outside and terrorize an entire rural town with your duffel bag full of homemade explosives. When you get home, I’ll fix you a nice lunch that would make a billy goat puke.”


8. Walter: International Dog of Intrigue says, “Not my handwriting, sir.”


Two questions I always have about graffiti are “who wrote it” and “what was their intended message?”

With that in mind, there’s a lot to unpack in “death to humans.” I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks now. Here are some of my thoughts so far. Feel free to add your own.

  1. The first and most obvious conclusion is that Jordi, his neighbor Sergio, Sergio’s brother Jordi, and the second Jordi’s cousin Montse have started a punk rock band called “Death to Humans,” and you should really check them out.
  2. Another possibility is that some eco-warrior is pulling the old “selfish humans are killing Mother Earth, therefore all humans should die.” If this is the case, then I say, “Why not lead by example?”
  3. A rogue librarian may be promoting their favorite section of the Oxford English Dictionary.  “Death” through “humans” is, in fact, a great read featuring outstanding words such as “dipsomania” (sadly, not covered by my insurance), “facetious” (which contains all five vowels in order), and fittingly “grammaticaster” (an inferior, pedantic grammarian). Sorry, deadbeats and hydrogeologists. You just missed the cut.
  4. I have turned over in my mind the possibility that this graffiti was written by extraterrestrials who are planning to kill us all. This is probably the least likely explanation, though. First, I don’t think any alien race capable of pulling off space travel and global annihilation would be dumb enough to advertise their intentions. But then I thought that maybe they’re actually being snarky and laughing in our faces about the fact that they’re going to kill us all. “Here it comes. We’re telling you. There’s nothing you can do about it!” If that were the case, though, I think they’d laugh in our faces on a much larger scale. They’d take over the internet and the airwaves and run “The More You Know” style ads. “Remember that teacher you had in grade school who always pushed you to do your best? Don’t worry about thanking them now, because soon your entire species is going to be vaporized.” Ultimately I have ruled out the space alien theory because I can’t imagine any advanced civilization wasting their time on us.


That’s all for now. Thanks for swinging by. If you’d like to leave a fan message for Walter: International Dog of Intrigue, please do so in the comments section below. I will make sure his assistant reads them to him.

8 Responses to “This Week in Graffiti, #3”

  1. Bill

    WIDI looks pretty guilty there…as improbable as it seems.

    • Nick

      Bill, you can’t condemn Walter: International Dog of Intrigue simply because you think he looks guilty. That being said, however, I have noticed that this is the one wall in Barcelona that Walter has never urinated on. Thanks for swinging by. I hope you and the family are doing well.

  2. BobinDC

    Stop Mass(achusetts) Tourism! Hmmmm? Perhaps?

    • Nick

      That’s a definite possibility. Nantucket is a zoo during the summer.

    • Nick

      I once came across a 1959 Grammaticaster at a yard sale. I asked about the price, but it was too steep. The body was dinged up and the neck was totally warped. I bought an end table instead.

    • Nick

      Hi Nancy. Thanks for swinging by. We’ll be back in Ouray this July. I’ll head down the street and say hello.


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