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By December 21, 2005thoughts

Y’all. I came up with a new invention (one which I’m sure I’ve heard others talk about before, but this is my blog which means I can make all the egomaniacal claims I want until you call me on it in the comments). Here’s what we all need: A modulated car horn.

Need to gently remind that elderly woman in the Dodge Dart that she’s still in a car and the light turned green a few minutes ago, not that it’s a big deal it’s just that you’re a teeny bit late for your pedicure? Give it a light tappy tap and the horn will convey your patience.

Does that guy in the Suburban think the whole road is his personal lane? Strike him down and he will know thy wrath.

Uh oh! The on-ramp to I-40 isn’t the best place to come to a full stop! I’m not mad because I can see that you’re just trying to figure out if you’re going the right way, but the car behind me and the car behind them and so on and so on for, um, about 15 cars, just almost piled on top of us both, so even if you didn’t mean to go this way, you may want to just drive and figure it out once you’re moving. Wouldn’t it be great if your horn could say all that!

That last one happened to me yesterday and I actually felt guilty about honking at the guy since my horn can only say “Move Asshole!” when really I just wanted to say “Check your rearview mirror — you may not know that there are about 15 cars behind you on this on-ramp.” So he started driving and we got on the highway, and I passed him, which made me feel guilty too — he was probably cursing me for being in such a hurry. “I’m not a bad person,” I wanted him to know. “I wouldn’t even have passed you if you had gone close to the speed I wanted to go. I wasn’t trying to send you a message or anything — I always drive this speed. I swear.”

You might think that maybe I wouldn’t be so concerned with how a stranger, in another car, on the interstate, at night feels about me, but then you might underestimate (overestimate?) me. So instead of feeling confident that my decision to use the (perpetually rude) horn was the right thing to do given the circumstances, I spent the rest of my drive home from the mall inventing a more polite car horn.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Mary says:

    Laurie, just a little update on the state of politeness in other parts of the country. We, here in Miami (except me of course) think that our car horns are way too modulated and we need a bullhorn type car horn that scares the crap out of the person who dares to hesitate for whatever good reason!

  • Susan says:

    Laurie, this reminds me of the car talk I heard the other day. A guy was complaining that his horn sounded like the horn on a 12 y.o. girl’s banana-seat bike when what he really wanted was more of a tug boat fog horn effect…

  • Laurie says:

    Maybe the horn thing could be a civics lesson unto itself. Each city could decide on a set of acceptable tones. New York would have its own particular set, while Fayetteville, Arkansas would have its own set. Twangs and creoles included.

  • Paula says:

    Laurie, I discovered your blog site at Mary’s – enjoying immensely! Have to say we haven’t heard a horn sound
    since moving to Hamilton, MT. As a matter of fact, cars
    will stop on the 4 lane main drag for a pedestrian stepping
    to the curb to cross (jaywalking of course) Amazing! We’re in Orlando,FL right now and I’m trying to walk and drive without getting run down. And while most of our friends ask why the
    hell Montana – rest assured there is somewhere in this country where cars, patience, and courtesy do co-exist!

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