Welcome to MiniMusings! Truth be told, it’s not easy to come up with the insights of our full-length articles. Sometimes, we just have some random thoughts or questions we want to put out there. MiniMusings may not always have a lesson, but we hope they’ll still make you think….
A few days ago, I almost plowed my car into a shiny new BMW because the dumbass in the Beemer failed to check for oncoming traffic (that is, me) before making a turn.
Unmentionable profanities spewed from my mouth as I was forced to swerve around him at 50 mph. But then, I looked over as I blew past him (intending to flash him my most intimidating glare, of course), and I saw him hold up his hand and nod sheepishly at me. It was pretty clear from his body language that he was saying, “Sorry, my bad.”
Interestingly, my desire to continue spewing profanities immediately vanished, and I felt totally vindicated. I still thought he was a dumbass, but at least now he was just a dumbass, and not an asshole to go along with it (let’s call that being a dumbasshole). Even more interestingly, his apologetic gesture immediately quenched my seething road rage.
And that got me to pondering….
I’m sure we all agree that driving brings out the vilest monsters lurking in our psyche. Maybe it’s the stress of trying to get somewhere on time. Maybe it’s the frustration of having to deal with traffic. Maybe it really is all the assholes surrounding us, because certainly the asshole can’t be us, right?
Then again… maybe it’s the inherent design of our automobiles that turns us all into assholes. Let’s take a look at the equipment we have available to communicate to other drivers on the road:
1) Turn signals
2) A horn
The turn signals allow us to say to others, “I’m going this way.” Okay, that’s necessary.
The horn? Well, the horn really only allows us to say something to the effect of “fuck you” to other drivers. Granted, we may want to use the horn to politely make our presence known sometimes. But chances are, no matter how polite or respectful our intent may be, no matter how gently or briefly we tap the horn, the sound of the horn will probably be interpreted as rude or aggressive.
There’s just no good way to offer a polite “excuse me” or “oops, I’m sorry” when you’re behind the wheel. Simply put, our cars lack the equipment for us to be courteous drivers.
As a solution, I would like to propose that automobiles henceforth be equipped with two separate horns: one emits a thundering WAAAAAHHHHH, like the airhorn on an 18-wheeler. The other emits the wimpiest, meekest eeep. The former is used to indicate our annoyance and say “fuck you” to another driver. The latter is used to apologize and say “my bad” when it’s our fault and we know it.
Incidentally, if you happen to drive a Japanese car, you may have realized that you already have a “my bad” horn. In fact, all you’ve ever had was a “my bad” horn. Eeeeeeeep. Seriously, that’s the sound my Honda Accord sedan makes. Trying to say “fuck you” in a Japanese car is about as intimidating as Tickle-Me Elmo threatening to shove his fist down your throat and tear out your spine.
Anyway, imagine the following exchange then:
You: Hey, that bastard just cut me off! Fuck you, you flying fuck of a fuckity fuck!!! [WAAAAAHHHHHH]
Dumbasshole who cut you off: [eep eep]
You: Oh, okay. I guess he didn’t mean it. Fury… subsiding. Urge to annihilate… gone. Wow, I feel so much better now.
Don’t you think this would make driving a much more pleasant experience for all of us? Maybe we can ask the Big 3 automakers to take some of that bailout money and put it into research and development on a “my bad” horn to be equipped in all of their new cars. I bet it would make driving feel like a stroll through a field of poppies.
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