01 April 2010
Intelligence Test at the DMV
Down here in The South - the rural South, anyway - it is considered extremely impolite to use your car horn for anything other than getting someone's attention so you can wave to them.
And I don't mean the middle finger wave.
Someone cuts you off in traffic? You don't honk at them.
Someone is cruising at 10 mph under the speed limit IN THE LEFT LANE? You don't honk at them.
Someone drifts into your lane while texting AT 60 MPH? You move over...without honking.
After 13 years of politely accepting responsibility for my automotive safety and safety of every idiot on the road?
I. Call. Bullshit.
I've engaged my car's horn - and believe me, when I bought this vehicle I tested the horn for testosterone...there's nothing worse than honking angrily at some idiot in a low-rider only to end up sounding like a sick, bleating sheep...
Ahem. I've engaged my car's horn FOUR TIMES in the past three days and I feel LIBERATED!
This morning - not two hours ago - I pulled up to a stop light (in the inside lane as a big rig was parked in the outside lane) behind a little S10 pickup truck.
First bad sign? The guy was wearing a ball cap. At 7:30 in the morning. Which tells me he has nowhere pressing to be and is NOT in a hurry.
Second bad sign? The Styrofoam cup of coffee - or chew juice - precariously perched on his dashboard.
THIRD bad sign? I can see that he's fooling around with the manual transmission with his right hand....Where do you think that cup of coffee/spit is going to land when he jerks it into gear?
The fourth horseman of this impending vehicular apocalypse? He was on his cell phone.
Now, you tell me: Unless this guy is the American Redneck incarnation of the Hindu goddess Kali, how many arms is he going to be short when the light turns green?
So the light turns. And he's still on the phone - holding the phone to his right ear, with his left hand - and gently shifting so as not to spill the coffee/spit with his right hand, and paying absolutely NO FUCKING ATTENTION to anything that's going on around him.
The 18-wheeler in the right-hand lane pulls ahead of him, he's moving so friggin' slow.
I'm counting to 100. I'm not blowing the horn. I'm waiting for him to pull ahead of the truck and then move into the right lane. It's too early in the day to be losing my shit.
But lose it I did when he did NOT move over, but continued on at a snails pace in the left lane. Forcing me to pass him on the right, which is not only seriously frowned upon by The Law, but is illegal.
So here I am, at 7:30 in the freaking morning, breaking my first law of the day - because, really, once you've broken one you might as well break as many as possible in a day, right? - passing him on the right and blowing my big testosterone-y sounding horn, glaring at him and his mouth-breathing passenger, the whole way.
They stared back. Blankly. "Earl? Whatchu s'pose she's honkin' at? I cain't see no cattle in the road."
Anyway. I felt better. I cranked up the music. I got my gram of flesh...even if the sleeveless, spitting Neanderthal in the truck didn't understand it was intended for him.
And, lest you think this is a rage against Rednecks? Yesterday I "gave the horn" to a triple shot-caramel mocha-half caf-skinny-no foam friggin' latte swilling (I imagine) Hummer driver who must have been texting while she was driving because she nearly sideswiped me three times before I could get away from her.
I swear to all the gods that I'm considering starting a "Give 'em Horn!" campaign.
Who wants a bumper sticker?