Saturday, March 12, 2011


I was stopped at a redlight last night when I noticed something protruding from the bottom of a pickup truck next to me.  I finally deduced that it was two willow tree branches that had been caught on the under-carriage, but for an instant my mind had imagined that it was the antennae of a large, bug-like creature (The fact that they were moving to and fro courtesy of a strong wind did not help matters).

Then I thought -

What would be the proper protocol to advise another driver that an alien creature was attached to their vehicle?

Should you honk the horn?

Personally, I am not a big fan of car horns.  You always have at least a half-dozen other drivers get mad at you because they think your horn-blowing was directed at them.  They all then proceed home in a foul mood and take it out on their children.

What about using the old hand signal to the driver of the giant bug-infested pickup to roll his window down so you can verbally alert him to the situation?  I am referring to the technique in which you pretend that you are cranking the lever in a circular fashion.

This of course would have its own problems as well.  Sure, World War Two vets, hippies, and Generation X-ers are all familiar with the roll-down gesture, but our nation's youngest motor vehicle operators grew up with cars in which you push a button and the glass magically slides down thanks to cutting-edge technology.  Sadly, these drivers would look at you as if you are a nut job only later to be dismembered by the radioactive cockroach that lurks near their muffler.

I guess the best thing to do would be to turn on some NPR and pretend you didn't see anything.

That seems to work for everything else.

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