Sunday, May 24, 2009

RE: Your decision to honk your horn

The car horn is a bewildering thing. In this world of fine-tuned, direct, and instant communication, it gets everyone's attention, not just the person you want.

It is really, really loud.

Last night there was a wedding just letting out next to my apartment building while I was walking home from work. I have no feelings about this until a random delivery truck honks it horn (in celebration?) as I'm walking past.

I scream and jump about a mile in the air. Big truck horns are louder than normal horns (for safety reasons?) and are usually unnecessary. Its noise.

Horns are always (always!) irritating. I know, you want to get the attention of your friend across the street, you need to let the asshole in front of you know you're pissed, or you're waiting outside someone's building and are tired of waiting. You believe the horn is the best way to do this.

I'm here to tell you: call the cell phone of the person you see. Let go of the fact that jerk just cut you off. The horn, while it relieves whatever you are feeling, spikes a feeling of complete and utter irritation in everyone around you.

Example: in the parking lot next to my apartment, there are very few spaces to park. It is a small parking lot. Someone had arrived in the middle of the night and parked in the middle of the the parking lot, blocking cars on both sides from easily getting out.

It is five in the morning when a woman begins honking her horn in frustration at this vehicle. Yes: at five in the morning, this woman was trying to leave and while having trouble getting out of the lot, she repeatedly honked her horn. Not just little beep beeps!, but long, ugly beeeeeeeeeeeps. I know you are frustrated. You are blocked in through no fault of your own.

But now? I'm frustrated at you. I was sleeping. And you are being just as infuriating as the illegally parked car.

DC must be the capital of the frustrated honk. Look, traffic is bad in DC, and I know you're angry that it isn't moving as fast as you'd like. Honking your horn isn't going to change much of anything. Seriously. You just spread your irritation to everyone around you like the rage virus.

Even short beep beeps! are weird. I see a flash of your car and my mind twists around, trying to figure out if I know you, if I'm in your way, or if you are also confused as to who I am -- thinking I am someone else, you honked to say hi.

Honking your horn is loud and ambiguous at the same time. Unless someone's life is danger, please stop it.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

each day on the way to work i honk at a golden pig statue in front of a hog farm. i think i'm going to continue because it's the middle of nowhere fucking iowa and it's really fun.