ARLINGTON -- "Who would've thought that holding a sign and whipping your head back and forth would accomplish so much?"
The question from Arlington's Michael Hildreth is a valid one. Just how did headbanging by the highway turn the 20-year-old Hildreth into the South Arlington Sign Slayer?
"I showed up late to work a little too much over about the course of a month," he said.
The punishment for his tardiness was to head out by US-287 to try and drum up business at the local Papa Murphy's through a little sign spinning. He could've been lazy about it. Hildreth, though, had other ideas.
"I've always been a metal head, so I was just scrolling through my phone and I see Slipknot," he said. "I was like, 'Well, they're my favorite band. I guess I should just go ahead and listen to them.'"
And the Sign Slayer was born.
Not long after that, the praise and props started to come.
"People honk all the time, man," Hildreth said. "If I have enough time to look up and throw the horns, I do."
Then his job title was changed.
"Once my boss saw that it got a lot more business, it just became my main job."
And don't forget about 2,500 people who follow 'South Arlington Sign Slayer' on Facebook. (A page started by someone he didn't know, by the way)
"At the time I didn't have a nickname, but as soon as that page came out I sure did, and it stuck."
So the Slayer does what he does best, and don't worry. He's not thinking about changing anytime soon.
"I love jamming," he said. It's one of my favorite things to do."
As for his future? Hildreth has always dreamed of being in a metal band of his own, and even though he spends plenty of time strumming his pizza sign, this metal head is a drummer. If that dream's slow to come, Hildreth might just go back to school and pursue a degree in either film or criminology.
For now, though, enjoy the side of the road slaying. The South Arlington Sign Slayer is at your service.