Sunday, August 22, 2010

What the Beep?!

What makes you crazy? I’m not talking about disgruntled or upset. And I’m not talking about just a little bit crazy. I’m talking crazy crazy. So crazy that you want to physically express your crazy in a way that is not socially acceptable. I’m talking so crazy that you want to rip a manhole cover out of the street and chuck it through the display window of a GAP.

Is it something that people do to you?  Is it rudeness? People who are impolite? Maybe its poor manners or poor hygiene that makes you want to lose your shit so badly that you turn green and rip your purple pants.

Maybe it is a combination of things. There are dozens if not hundreds of things that annoy us as human beings, and I am no exception. I get pissed off over dumb stuff. I’ve mentioned many of them here, but most of them I’d rather not admit because, well, I like to pretend I’m a better person that I actually am. But there is one thing that I cannot deal with.

It is not an emotion, or a behavior, but a sound. It is a sound so detestable and awful that it makes my blood pressure spike. It makes me want to clothesline bikers as they ride past me and knock out crossing cards with my backpack. It’s not nails on a chalkboard, or breaks screeching, or a baby crying. No, the sound that makes me bat shit crazy is the sound of horns honking.

Now I haven’t had a car for several years now and it has been equally as long since I drove regularly. And as I have mentioned several times before, I really don’t mind not having a car. Looking for places to park, general maintenance, paying for gas; I don’t miss any of that. But I didn’t realize until recently is being a regular driver had given me a kind of immunity to horns and horn honking.

But being a pedestrian, a human not protected by the security of a 4 wheeled transportation device, has made me realize how much I hate horns.

I could be having the best day ever, crossing the street wearing an Armani suit while eating a free ice cream cone given to me by a Victoria’s Secret underwear model I met on a first class flight back from Bali.

But if in the course of eating that ice cream cone, some superturd leans on his horn for more than an 1/8 of a second, my immediate reaction is that I want to kick in his window and jam my ice cream cone (cone first) into his eyeball.

It brings forth an anger and intensity in me that should be reserved for chucking a keg over a 20 foot wall in a strong man competition or fighting off Orcs in Middle Earth.

It is like an “instant crazy” button I don’t know exists until it’s pushed and then all I can think is;


I think the large majority of the population has come to see the horn as a necessary part of driving, kind of like a hand gesticulation, as opposed to something that should be used sparingly.

I can understand that in the beginning of cars, there was not much technology so the horn could only do so much. But we have come so far over the year. I think its time we made some changes. I have a couple I would like to see put into play immediately.

1. Every car should come with a horn max limit. This limit would be certain time limit of horn honking a month. Let’s say 10 seconds. So every time you hit your horn, the amount of time you stay honking your horn is deducted from your monthly limit. If you don’t hit your monthly limit, you are fine, and perhaps the National Transportation Bureau mails you a little ribbon.

But if you however pass your 10 second horn limit… your car automatically explodes.

I think this would keep people to more honest horn honking. Right now there is wasteful horn honking. If you know you only have so much horn to honk, perhaps you would ration it better and not go honking willy nilly.

Also, the threat of imminent death helps.

Now I know that there are times when you don’t always want to honk. The sound of the horn, no matter how quickly it is pressed can be quite abrasive, and you might not want to use it if you are a kind and decent human being that doesn’t suck.

Sometimes you just need to give people a little nudge to wake up or pay attention.

That is where my second suggestion comes in.

2. I would implement a new button on the steering wheel. This button would be called the “Suggestion Beep.”

While the horn might be used for alerting civilians when you are about to crash into a bicycle with a basket full of golden retriever puppies, or if somebody is bearing down on you on a one way street, the Suggestion Beep would be used in situations of lesser danger.

Perhaps the light turns green and the person in front of you is not paying attention. Then you could push the Suggestion Beep and your car would see in a delightful British lilt;

Pardon me


Hello there

Something nice and light just give the car in front of you a heads up.

But I am aware that the Suggestion Beep could be abused as well. Kind of like somebody who says excuse me is nice, but somebody who stands next to you saying “Excusemeexcusemeexcusemeexcusemeexcuseme” is someone you’d like to slap.

That is why we must create a reward system for the Suggestion Beep as well.

Those people that have a positive ratio of Suggestion Beeps to regular horn peeps would receive a ribbon in the mail every month.

Those people that overuse the Suggestion Beep, well… their cars would explode too.

And forgive me for not knowing what the limit of Suggestion Beeps is yet, this is an imperfect system and we are working on a trial and error basis. I would just recommend you take it easy on the Beeps until we have ironed out all the kinks.

And oh yea if your car explodes and you happen to survive it, you have to ride a unicycle. With a flag on it. No exceptions.


DangGina said...

Bwa ha!

My favorite line? "If you know you only have so much horn to honk, perhaps you would ration it better and not go honking willy nilly."

Or else this one: "The sound of the horn, no matter how quickly it is pressed can be quite abrasive, and you might not want to use it if you are a kind and decent human being that doesn’t suck."

Yes, this was a good post...

The thing that makes me bonkers above all else is another sound: loud eaters. I seriously have to close my eyes and make myself NOT bitch-slap the person sitting next to me who slurps/gobbles/smacks.

I have a very dear friend who is a loud eater. Cereal's the worst.

How did so many people not learn to eat silently?

Just sayin'...

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Yeah about the only time I honk my horn is if someone is about to cause me to have an accident. Otherwise it just feels... rude. But maybe that's my Minnesota nice taking over?

PrincessBeks said...

I dont use my horn enough!
Thing is when some nobhead cuts in front of you without anyspace my first rection is break so i dont crash the car by the time i've thought of the horn it's to late but i get annoyed because they should know what they've done is wrong!
I would love a horn that shouts ' you fu**ing w**ker'#
funny post enjoyed reading it

Jeninacide said...

OMG! I hate horn honking too! I only do it if ABSOLUTELY necessary and when people honk unnecessarily at me it shoots adrenaline through my body in less than a corner of a second and makes me want to use my car as a 2000 pound WEAPON!

So. Yeah. I can relate.

Jeninacide said...

I meant QUARTER of a second. Not corner. WTF Monday!

TbR said...

I lived in Italy for a year, and in my experience Italians are very fond of car horn's. My flat looked out over a bus stop, cars would honk every time time a bus stopped to let people off. It drove me mad. I had to learn to put up with it though, when in Rome and all that.

One of my biggest irritations is people who don't stand aside to let people off the train before trying to board. It's the only time I feel that violence is perhaps the answer.

Stephanie Ann said...

I HATE the horn. I only use it if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Unfortunately for me I live right in the Bermuda Triangle of asshole drivers (the part of western KY that is bordered by IN and IL and also close to TN). It's scary how often people decide to just hop into your lane without looking to see if there's a little white car there first.

It's All Good said...

Oh, how you would love living in jordan, where car horns are more important than the wheels! The noise that drives me bat shit crazy, though, is the noise of people eating. I understand that some foods just make sounds that we can't help, but if I hear lip smacking, tongue whipping, spit flying noises I will think of killing a puppy. I actually always suggest dinners for first dates to see how the guy eats because that would be such a huge problem!

Iqbal Ismail said...


Can I just skip the car and go straight to the bicycle with the flag on it? I like flags. And turtles.

Caroline B said...

I used to live in Athens where use of the horn was mandatory....seemed like it anyway! I'd love to have the chance to use my car horn emphatically but my current one sounds like Officer Hooks from Police Academy...', excuse me, please'... I have seen mechanics at my garage gather round and laugh when they test it out...:0(
I have to agree with others, sloppy mouth noises make me homicidal!

Pat said...

There must be a lot of honkers in New Yawk! I think my husband is embarrassed by the size of his, er, horn. He drives a big ass truck - 1 1/2 tons, to pull our fifth wheel, but it has a wimpy horn. eee-eee. We're thinking of replacing it with a honking air horn to blast when stupid people pull in front of us when we're tooling down the road pulling our trailer. Hello, stupid! We've got a LOT of weight behind us - do you think we can stop on a DIME?

Okay, thanks, I feel better for venting.

Ms Dreamer said...

I honk when people sit at green lights (a one-tap) and when people cut me off, causing me to slam on my breaks (a full-five second wail, accompanied by a full-fingered salute). I don't think I've come near using my allotted time per month. Can I save it and use it when incredibly necessary? :)

Nancy said...

Horn honkers drive me nuts too, but not as much as Glenn Beck's voice. That man makes me want to do some damage whenever I hear him talk. It is an irrational reaction that I cannot control.

Old School/New School Mom said...

This is interesting. I frequently borrow my mom's car, so I am of a driver's perspective. It annoys the crap out of me when OTHER drivers honk their horns but I feel like I have complete license to honk my horn whenever I damn well please and for however long I like. I'm into double standards clearly.