Car-Horn Jackassery

Where: Buckhead, near Lenox Avenue.

The Situation: Realizing too late that I’ve reached the spot where I need to turn, but that I’m not in a left-turn lane, I flip on my turn signal and angle my car to say “I’m going to get into the left-turn lane when it’s clear and the light turns green.” There’s only one or two cars behind me in the left-turn lane, so it shouldn’t be much of a wait. As the last car is passing me, the Lexus (or whatever) behind me lays on the horn for a long while, then makes the “What the hell?!” hand sign, with shrug, then resumes his jackassery with the horn.

What the Hell Was: I’d signaled my intent and begun my maneuver. I cannot, however, legally occupy the same space as another car. Therefore, yes, you had to wait 12 seconds for me to vacate the lane. These things happen. Deal. Why not pass the time by, I don’t know, feeling superior and important by honking your horn. That’s what it’s there for, I guess.

Where: Near the Starbucks on Peachtree Street, by 10th Avenue.

The Situation: We’re parallel parked on the side of a one-lane, one-way street. My wife is getting into the passenger side of the car, which requires her to open her door. A dude in a necktie and an Acura (which only makes you look desperate, by the way) comes down the one-way street, over the hill, a little too fast. He lays on the horn and, as he passes by, makes a little twirling sign with his finger, as if to say: “Get a move on.”

Assessment: I apologize for almost making you have to slow down. I feel like I let you down by not realizing that you’d rented the street for that minute and would coming by in a car without brakes. The effort you went to by honking, rather than just vehicular ly manslaughtering my wife for the happenstance of appearing briefly in your life, is greatly appreciated. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to slow down a vehicle enough to squeeze through a single unoccupied lane. After all, slowing is almost as bad as stopping!

Give our regards to Kenneth when you see him at the next meeting.

7 Comments so far

  1. Cap'n Ken (unregistered) on August 15th, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    OK, dude. On the first one, you were absolutely in the wrong. You were blocking traffic (whether or not you believe 12 seconds is an acceptable amount of time for you to block traffic, you were blocking traffic).

    If YOU missed your turn, YOU should take responsibility for that. You have no right to block the straight lane, no matter how little inconvenience you believe you were causing. Just go straight and turn around somewhere.

    On the second one, were you blocking the travel lane or pulled over on the side? Hard to tell from the description, but if you were double-parked (as opposed to simply parallel-parked), again that’s not what you do.

    I have no problem with people honking (consider it a form of shame counseling) when somebody is being selfish and blocking traffic.

    I know you see the trouble you caused as minor, but that’s not your call. Maybe somebody else thinks blocking a center travel lane for two light cycles is minor.

  2. Bill (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 1:57 am

    I totally agree with Cap’n Ken on the first point. I’ve even echoed his exact words on many occasions: “If YOU missed your turn, YOU should take responsibility for that.” I always get very frustrated with people who miss their turn or don’t get over in time, and then cut across multiple lanes of traffic and/or stop until an opening comes. If you were asleep at the wheel, YOU should be inconvenienced by driving one block or turn-off further and then making the turn. I’ve missed WAY too many left turn lights not even a block from my own office because someone accidentally got stuck in the turn lane I was in, then sat there with his/her blinker on in rush hour traffic, waiting to merge back into the right lane. Making others suffer for your inattention/tardiness is like showing up after a play has started, and then making a ton of noise crawling over people to get to your seat instead of waiting for intermission.

    As for the second offense, however, I disagree with Cap’n and side with Will. From your description, it sounds like the dude came over the hill too fast while your wife was doing nothing more than trying to safely get in the car. If you’re driving on a one-lane street with parking on the sides, you really should take it easy. There’s absolutely no wiggle room to swerve away if someone runs out from between cars or such. And what was your wife supposed to do? Assuming the guy was on the other side of the hill and out of her line of sight when she made her move, she probably thought it was all clear. You can’t expect her to run to the top of the hill and check for traffic before running back and hopping in the car. The guy deserved to be flipped the bird.

    In my opinion, Will, it looks like you were “Kenneth” at one point…and were also a victim of “Kenneth” at another. No biggie, we’ve all been on either side of the fence at various times. :)

    (By the way, I like your site.)

  3. Cap'n Ken (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 10:21 am

    Just for the record: I did not deem Will wrong in the second situation. I said it depends on what exactly the situation was, and it wasn’t clear to me.

    If he was stopped in the travel lane to let his wife in, I’m agin it.

  4. Amber (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 1:52 pm

    …feeling superior and important by honking your horn.

    As opposed to acting superior and important by holding up traffic…?

  5. Rabid Angry Driver (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    Dude, you just suck at driving. Give it up and learn to use your horn like everyone else.

  6. TIM (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    Yeah, Bill is right, if you miss your turn, don’t assume that you are superior to everybody else and block traffic, go to the next block. It’s like the people who go to the grocery store or wal-mart and block traffic waiting for somebody parked close to the doors to pull out so you can take their spot, you would be in a lot faster if you just park in the first available spot and walk to the door, and interestingly enough, most people who do this are overweight, its not like you can’t use the exercise. Why not just park in the back and walk. I’m fat too, that doesn’t mean I am going to inconvenience everyone else because i like to get my double-quarter pounder with cheese meal supersized, it’s my own fault. I walk.

  7. win (unregistered) on October 8th, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

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