Why you need to lay off the horn
By Natalie Serafini, Opinions Editor
Honking has become many people’s idea of a useful tool for communicating interest, frustration, and greeting. While honking probably doesn’t cause as many crashes as talking on the phone or texting do, it’s still annoying and, as a form of communication, accomplishes very little. Humour me if you will, whilst I wax apoplectic over the many honk-happy happenings that need to stop.
Do you honk when you see an attractive person walking down the street? Don’t. I understand, there are plenty of hotties walkin’ around, and apparently your instinctual reaction is to honk at them. Nevertheless, it accomplishes nothing in terms of getting a phone number and mostly makes you look like a fool. If your reason for honking is as simple as “Hey hot girl! HONK!” then just don’t do it.
I have this thing where I don’t run for things, even if I’m crossing the street and a car honks at me to move faster. If I have the right-of-way, I walk across the street; there’s no sprinting on my part. To start, you don’t have the right to be impatient since, in all likelihood, you will be arriving at your destination before I do and with much less energy than I will have to expend. I’m doing something good for the environment by not driving, and you’re going to get irritated because I can’t walk at 50 miles/hour? In fact, when someone honks at me to walk faster, I purposely slow my pace. Allow me to explain: you know when you’re walking somewhere and there’s a large group of people coming your way? They don’t go single file, essentially forcing you onto the grass. Rather than just move over to avoid shoulder bumping awkwardness, you remain stubbornly on the sidewalk. You might even stretch your muscles imperceptibly to ensure some sort of bump, just to show them that you won’t be forced to the side. It’s kind of crazy, right? Pretty passive aggressive and such. Nonetheless, it’s what I do. So truly, honking to get me to cross the street faster is ridiculous because I can neither move as quickly as you’d like me to, nor am I willing to speed up just for your contentment. Don’t bother honking.
Don’t honk a greeting as you drive past. If you recognize me, it’s not too surprising. I live in New West, go to school in New West, work in New West, and exercise in New West. Most likely, you know me in one of those contexts, which makes your spotting me in New West quite unsurprising. So really, why are you astonished enough to honk hello? I truly wouldn’t mind if you didn’t acknowledge my presence, particularly since being blocked by a metal and glass cocoon makes recognizing you nearly impossible. The only way I could figure out who you are is if I have your license plate or car type memorized, and you flatter me if you think I’d be capable of that. My vision is certainly not good enough to discern a quickly receding “E” from a “B,” and my familiarity with cars begins and ends with “It’s green.” Especially if you’re doing a honk and run whilst driving down a busy street, how do you expect me to know who you are? It’s the roadrunner on steroids: “meep meep”-ing and zooming off into the distance. Please just don’t do it.
The thing about honking is that it’s abrasive and annoying enough when it’s actually serving its purpose. The fact that this mode of communication has dissolved into some sort of catch-all means that cacophony of beeps is all the louder and more frequent. There’s a time and a place for honking. Brood before you beep.