Thursday, July 09, 2009

Driving in the South

Southerners do not honk their horns. We are too polite. Or maybe not aggressive enough. Up North people give you about .63 seconds to go when the light turns green and then they honk. Not a "Beep Beep did you see the light?" honk, but a "HOOOOOOOOOOONK You dumb ass get the hell out of the way" honk.

So driving up there gave me the guts to start honking in the South. Not to be nasty or hurt other drivers feelings, but just to get things moving.

Yesterday I was on a two lane residentail street and there was a backhoe/frontloader thingy digging up something on the side of the street. There were men holding Slow/Stop signs on either side of the construction vehicle. They had both lanes stopped as the machine went forward and back, forward and back. The lines of traffic were getting pretty long. Like really really long. On my side I was third and there were 3 cars behind me. On the other side they were stretched out like 20 cars deep!!! I thought, "OK people, can't you stop the work for 1 minute and let us pass?"

So I honked. A friendly, "Beep Beep, hey guys can we get by please" honk. And it worked. The loader pulled off the street and the man turned his sign from STOP to SLOW and let us by. No one else honked, no one flipped me off. And we (the short line of cars) went through before the long line of cars. Amazing. The power of assertiveness. I learned it up North.