YOU! Yes, you with the wandering eyes, I’m going to honk at you! I don’t look forward to receiving your finger as acknowledgement that you’ve heard me.
But what else should I expect from a jackass who single-handedly added between five and fifteen minutes to everyone’s commute from here on back two miles while simultaneously putting us all in danger by suddenly halting the traffic flow? All to get a cheap thrill from some poor schmuck’s misery.
A question: just what are you thinking while staring at that tragic pileup?
“I wish these barriers weren’t so damn high. I can’t see if anyone’s dead. I’ll just slow down some more.”
“Hey, izzat blood or did she slip doing her lipstick in the rearview?”
“Aw! Ambulance drivers always get in the damn way. Jerks!”
“Wonder what that cop car’s got under the hood. Maybe a two-point-five litre? And why’s the cop in it frantically gesticulating at me? Oh, and how does an obvious simpleton like me even know what ‘gesticulate’ means?”
“Hey, cool, she’s crying all sloppy.”
“How come that guy behind me’s honking? He think I’m stoopid or something? I’d better give him the finger.”
In many parts of the world, it’s not considered rude to honk the horn.
In some places, honking is a time and money saving means of communication. Southern Europeans have it down to science, often eschewing the brake pedal all together and using just the horn to say so much. Indeed, their regular practice gives them a lighter, almost musician’s touch:
- A single soft staccato alerts to you to stop talking to your neighbour out the window because the light’s changed.
- A quick double pizzicato means thanks for working through that traffic issue with me.
- A long, sustained forte blast out of nowhere warns everybody on the road over hillcrests and around corners that you’re coming at speed. They have more on the roads there, too, from scooter riders to cyclists and bocce players — but the system usually works well.
- Only an extended fortissimo means you’re an idiot.
I wish it weren’t considered rude here in Canada to honk, especially at boneheads who slow to gawk at accident scenes. But that’s just how we hosers roll when we aren’t rolling up rims.
From the Autos.ca forums: When to honk your horn?
It is rude (and dangerous) everywhere to slow down and gawk at collisions.
If you witness an accident and want to help, please pull over in front and out of the way, away from the scene. Then dial 911 and calmly report it. If you have any emergency training in first aid or crowd control, by all means get involved. If not, DON’T! Simple. When the first responders come, move on, unless you think you’re the only witness in what’s probably going to become a court case.
Nota bene, as they say in southern Europe! If there are several others already pulled over who have their phones out, let go of your urge to vicariously experience death. Simply move on — eyes forward — and proceed at a safe speed.
Actually, it was NOT “just like out of a movie.” You’re too ugly to get casted.
Ever notice that the people interviewed about car pileups on the six o’clock news always default to that tired cliché, describing the scene as something “out of a Hollywood movie”?
They also have a distinctive look, these rubberneckers. It’s a temporarily inflated glow of glee on an otherwise a defeated-looking visage, resting uncomfortably beneath a haircut that hasn’t been seen in a Hollywood movie since Saturday Night Fever.
You just know they drive home elated, having come so close to death yet cheating it, seeing no harm come to any they love. Not that many people love them. They’re idiotic ghouls, hungry vampires who feed off that terrified adrenaline-energy everyone at a collision is awash in.
First, of course, that self-satisfied rubbernecker calls ahead, though, asking his wife (it’s almost always a man) to PVR the news slot. Later that night, he doubtlessly sleeps like a well-fed cat for the first time in months.
Possible solutions to eradicate rubbernecking:
• Guns. Just kidding. That idea hasn’t cured rubbernecking in the US or Russia. Maybe flame throwers, though. At least it would give those firefighters who always redundantly show up at accidents something to do.
• Higher barriers between lanes. If they don’t know it’s there, idiots won’t slow down for that crack hit of Schadenfreude an awful car wreck doles out.
• Give those faux cops issuing parking tickets the authority to direct traffic at accident scenes and severely ticket rubbernecking boneheads. How many times have we scene Rita the Meter Maid nailing suckers parked five minutes after the meter expired while serious danger looms just metres away?
• Horns that you can program like your smartphone’s ring. Imagine. Bruce Springsteen’s Blinded by the Light could alert distracted drivers when a green light reappears. REM’s I’m Sorry could be something you honk when you realize that you made a mistake. (Think about it. We all know the finger signal for “F-you”. Why isn’t their one for “Whoops, my bad”?) And for rubberneckers, you would turn the volume up to fortissimo and blare Alice Cooper’s!