Mixed Signals has it all—rushing train, flashing lights, and steam you can almost hear hissing. It’s a metaphor for mixed messages, those memos which say one thing but mean another. Sometimes a case officer will be asked to do something blatantly illegal. His orders may not say so in words, but he knows he’s expected to cross the line. If he’s caught, he knows headquarters will publicly denounce him. But behind the scenes, the agency will not rest until he’s free. What’s the mixed message here? As the train approaches the intersection, the signal arm is facing the wrong way. It is attempting to stop the train, not the automobiles.