Posts Tagged ‘merging’

When to Honk

“I think we should only get 3 honks a month on the car horn, because people honk the car horn too much. 3 honks, that’s the limit. And then someone cuts you off, ffffft, you press your horn, nothing happens. You’re like, “shit! I wish I wouldn’t have seen Ricky on the sidewalk!”
-Mitch Hedberg

We have posted about traffic and driving etiquette before and, clearly, we don’t plan to end this trend. Honking, like tipping, is an inexact science: Some people are more liberal honkers whereas others show more restraint. Below is my own common-sense guide to honking:

Appropriate Uses of the Honk:

To prevent a car from merging INTO your car. If you have ever driven on a highway, you know what I’m talking about. A car puts its blinker on, you are in the adjacent lane slightly in the back of the car (presumably in the car’s blindspot), and they start to change lanes without considering you and your vehicle. A honk as a preventative measure is not only appropriate but necessary in this type of situation for the sake of preventing a collision.
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How to Solve Traffic*

*This isn’t entirely genuine; it’s more of a “How to Slightly Improve Traffic.”

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

Perhaps no fictional character has lost more credibility in the past calendar year than Gordon Gekko, played so well by Michael Douglas in Wall Street. But I’m not here to talk about the exposure of greed in fiscal terms; rather, I’m here to detail greed’s insidious impact on something another Douglas film is named after: Traffic.

Traffic may be the most singularly hated affliction in civilization. Contemplate it. Unlike murder, no one commits traffic. Unlike AIDS, no one knowingly gives someone traffic. Unlike war, no one starts traffic on faulty reasoning or to build community.

It is entirely possible—if not probable—that there has not been a single individual throughout human history who has been “pro-traffic.” And yet we’re all guilty of perpetuating traffic. For traffic is not the inevitable, unsolvable, irremediable collateral of living in an automobile age. Sure, there are causes of traffic that are beyond our control: construction, accidents, overpopulation. But once that traffic starts, and maybe a lane is closed or a bridge is coming up and the road’s width is narrowing, traffic is made much worse by the foundational sin of humanity: greed.

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