Sunday, August 11, 2013


Let me vent for a moment regarding traffic. 

I am unfamiliar with current daytime driving protocol as most of my motoring is done during the vampire hours.

My concerns usually involve avoiding a collision with wildlife, joggers and guys who the courts deemed “not eligible due to imbibing” so they leave for work 2 hours earlier, riding un-lit, non-reflective 20” bicycles, complete with banana seats, baskets and pink handle streamers and recently purchased for $5 at a yard sale.

I must admit I am rather spoiled and isolated and happy to know I have dodged another bullet that will distance me from anger management training.

My employment driving has always been close to home.  I feel somewhat superior and fulfilled when I hear there is the usual 8-mile backup on the expressway and I am not there.

I have been behind the wheel just after dawn (and occasionally during the day) and noticed very distracted driving behavior. This was long before the invention of the smart phone and texting.

Here is a partial list of some actions I observed:

·          Brushing teeth

·          Eating and drinking

·          Getting dressed

·          Putting on make up

·          Shaving (I lie not)

·          Applying deodorant (again, I lie not)

·          Reading books, magazines and newspapers

·          “R” rated behavior.   (It may have gone on a little further but the driver spotted my binoculars then sped away and lost me).

I often wonder if these motorists live in their vehicles.
Surely all of the above can be performed at home but in all honesty I too may have been guilty of some of the above behavior, but I admit to nothing.

A driving issue that leaves me perplexed is the use of the automobile horn.

In the very very very olden days, horseless carriages were required to have a man walking before the vehicle waving a red flag or honking a horn to notify the frightened citizens and livestock to be cautious of the advancing 1-mile-per-hour doom machine.

Later due to budget cutting and downsizing the flag walker was replaced when someone (named Dan) said “let’s just strap a horn on the darn thing and fire the little guy”.

The flag waver was then placed on the unemployment roll and died shortly after. The budget cutter (Dan) was given a huge bonus, a window office, a medical-dental plan, 5 weeks vacation two pair of wingtip shoes and free bread for life.

Horn honking puzzles me greatly.  
In my neck of the woods I know a lot of people and I drive a very recognizable vehicle so when I perceive a horn is noised in my direction I cannot tell if it is friendly or aggressive unless I can see the author and notice him/her either smiling or finger-digit saluting and gritting their teeth.

I have also observed that motorists can be broad-brushed into two distinct categories regarding their reactions towards the beep. 

·          Group A seems to ignore the recognition and continues to blissfully motor-on .  These are the Mr. & Mrs. Magoos’s, those totally carefree and oblivious to their infractions. They just continue going onward-ho leaving the honker in the dust.

·          Group B, the other group, needs therapy.

I can also categorize the honkers into two distinct groups:

·          Group A likes people, recognizes their friends, they are courteous, helpful and a pure joy to have them alongside you.

·          Group B are overly aggressive, overworked, tired, cranky, foul-mouthed teeth-gritters and would rather have their SUV slam into you while the horn blows loudly than hit the brakes.

  (Group B ALL belong to the same decide)

Today, while out among the day dwellers, I too had heard honking in my direction but I could not identify neither the source or the temperament from the tone.

My wife had a great suggestion.

All cars manufactured in the future should be equipped with two horns, one a mean nasty finger-saluting horn and the other a happy horn, a HOWDY horn.

The mean, nasty horn would be loud and ear piercing, possibly like a foghorn turned up to maximum volume. 

For the happy friendly “HOWDY” horn think Minnie Pearl with her flowery price- tagged bonnet and big country smile.

At the very least the distinction of sounds will prevent confusion and help the non-Magoos among us avoid a road mishap. 

Further lab testing will be required before we implement such a plan. 

We wouldn’t want any loud noises to cause a Prius to implode.

Here is the HOWDY HORN


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