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The Vacationer's Guide to Horn Honking Etiquette

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Thousands of Americans will be accumulating millions of miles this summer traveling routes that resemble spider webs stretching from sea to shining sea.

Fuel prices are up while wages have taken a nosedive.However, this article addresses something more valuable than money. (Suze Orman just fainted). It is a roadmap to sanity on our roadways. It is the Good Manners Guide to Horn Honking. Only fools will need to read it. But if my recent driving experience is any indicator of necessity, it should make the bestseller list in a week.



Rule #1. If you are a goose you may honk at any time. It is the goose’s only way of communication therefore acceptable. The goose population being what it is, the honking volumemyhome state of Ohiois already reaching an annoying level.

Rule #2. It doesn’t help much to honk at a goose. It won’t make them cross the expressway any faster. I’ve witnessed this truth. It only makes them stop, poop, and look at the honker with annoyance.

Rule #3. A friendly short honk accompanied by a smile and a ‘hello wave’ is always welcome. Too rare, but deliciously welcome.

Rule #4. A loud, long honk with a hand gesture other than a wave demonstrates unsavory things about your character. My mother would claim you were raised in a barn, but frankly I think farm animals exhibit better manners than that.

Rule #5. If you are driving in the blind spot of an eighteen wheeler and he decides to pull into your lane crushing your car, honk loooong and loooooudly. That is the real reasonwhy God invented horns.

Rule #6. If you are stopped in a traffic jam and choose to honk your horn in frustration, you are announcing to the world that you don’t know how to act in civilized society. Honks in traffic jams only raise the stress level and blood pressure of everyone.

Rule #7. Do you have a door lock on the inside of your car door? Push it down. It takes the tiniest bit of pressure from one finger to engage your lock. Why are we honking our horns to lock a door? Absolutely everyone but the honker is startled by this unexpected blast. Honking your horn to lock a door is like having an argument on your cell phone in an elevator full of other people. Nobody else wants to hear it!

My former car would flash its lights when I pushed the remote button to lock the door. My current remote uses a honking sound if I push the button. Is this progress? No. I won’t use my remote to lock my door out of consideration to others. It is a small courtesy I can extend to humanity and I accept that responsibility.

Rule #8. This is the most important rule. Read it carefully. At an intersection, the person in front decides when to go. (Notice I didn’t say where to go, I said when to go). That is why they are in front. They waited their turn to become first. The state has determined they have both a brain and a driver’s license. Do not honk at them if they pause for a split second in order to check oncoming traffic. In case you have forgotten your identity, let me remind you. You are SECOND (or third or fourth) in line.

Thank you for letting me toot my horn a little about my honking pet peeves. I’m hoping my humble opinions will help de-stress summer vacation travelers all across America. If you agree with my viewpoints, toot and give me a friendly wave as you pass by me on the roadway. If you want to disagree, you probably won’t be able to find me. I’m busy in my basement developing a skunk smell to spray from my exhaust pipe the next time someone behind me honks their horn at me as I check traffic at an intersection.

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