Monday, November 20, 2006

A Honk for Every Occasion

The car horn in my Honda Civic sounds like a sick duck. The car horn in our Honda Odyssey minivan doesn't sound much better. In other words, these are not horns to be taken seriously. It's the loud cursing inside the interior of the vehicle that accompanies the beeps and bleeps and honks that I emit that might have more impact...were my windows rolled down!

This morning I did the first shift of getting my kids to school. As I entered the school driveway, a car ahead of me suddenly decided to stop a bit over to the side. Although it was my friend's husband, I gave a honk to indicate my annoyance that he'd suddenly stop and make me have to maneuver around him. I didn't knew if he saw me or not.

But while I was parked in the appropriate drop-off spot, letting my kids out of the van, my friend's husband drove past and gave a double honk. Was he answering my single honk? I first wondered. Then I realized that his must've been a greeting honk, as if he were saying "Hi, Pearl. I want to say good morning to you."

That's when I realized that he must've misinterpreted my annoyance honk for one of greeting, as well.

That's when I realized that I need to personalize my car horn and its honks for different occasions.

When I'm annoyed at another driver, or drivers, my horn should sound like an elephant about to charge through the jungle.

When I want to greet somebody, my horn should sound like Glinda the good witch's titter.

When I want to get someone's attention -- to let them know that they can move into traffic ahead of me, or that the light signal has changed color -- my horn should sound like Slyvester Stallone's raspy "Yo!"

And if I'm just cruising aimlessly, happily along city streets or country roads, the horn honk should sound like a "Yee-haw!"

I do know that you can personalize car horns to play bits of songs -- perhaps when the mood strikes me to hit my horn, one day you'll hear Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" bleeping and people will indeed get out of my way!

Until then, if you hear a duck honk behind you, or beside you, take a good look -- no doubt it'll be me waving hi...or giving you the finger!