Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting a handle on Road Rage

Road rage pisses me off. But I think I have discovered the reason road rage has proliferated in the last ten years or so. And maybe I have an idea that will help.

A while back I was out on a ranch with a friend of mine. It was winter and he hadn’t been out to see his cows for a few days so we threw a bag of cake in the back of my recently purchased Dodge Dakota and headed out.

Now cows don’t necessarily want to be seen. Sometimes bad things happen to them when they are seen. Like they get run through a squeeze shoot, a hand is shoved up their butt and at the same time someone sticks a needle or three into them. None of that sounds very fun to me and I’m sure the cows agree.

But even if they don’t like to be seen, they do like to eat. That’s why they can be bribed out into the open with a bag of cake. The universal signal that you are bringing cake is to honk your horn. They'll come running. So when we got in the vicinity of Doc’s cows I honked my horn.

beep. . . Nothing happened.

beep . . . Still nothing.

You see, the tiny little horn that came with my thirty-thousand dollar truck wasn’t loud enough to get their attention. Now this is where road rage comes in. (I bet you were wondering how feeding cows relates to road rage.) If you can’t get a cow's attention in the middle of three thousand acres of quiet, how the hell can you get the attention of that jackass that just cut in front of you on a busy freeway? In the days when trucks were trucks and horns were horns, when you honked at someone they heard you. It startled the jackasses and they realized they’d screwed up. That loud HONK gave you some satisfaction. The jackass was properly reminded of his jackassedness and you felt better.

When you beep, who the hell notices? Not the jackass. He goes on down the road to commit jackassedness on some other poor soul. And you just get more frustrated. So you drive up beside him and do what it takes to get his attention - getting madder all the time.

That, my friend is road rage.

So my solution? Put real horns on all vehicles. Let’s get the HONK back on the road. When I got home I immediately cranked up the computer and ordered a horn with some HONK. I feel better and Doc’s cows can now get seen – whether they like it or not.


Brian said...


I could test your theory, I have an Ooga horn. Wouldn't that be funny to hear that coming out of a Toyota 4Runner...

John Sharpe said...

A friend of mine put a truck air horn on a Prius. Now that gets peoples attention.

Thanks for the comment Brian.

Bill Wade said...

John - You mentioned the Jackass who cuts in front of you - here's a story from my past - some years ago I was hosting a staff conference at our headquarters in New york city - the majority of the staff had not traveled to NYC before and were understandably nervous about getting to the hotel in Manhattan - so we arranged to pick each group up with a car service and one of the partners rode with each group - coming in thru the midtown tunnel our driver pulled in front of a yellow cab as we turned onto third avenu - 2 blocks later the cab puleed up next to us with a NYPD patrol car in the next lane - the cabby first shouted insults - then proceeded to take out a length of pipe and pbreak the headlights and then the windshield of the town car - cops just st there till it was over -what a welcome to the Big Apple - Bill

John Sharpe said...

Scary story, Bill. Now that's Road Rage with capital R's.

Ah, New York. I wonder, was this pre or post Giuliani?


Bill Wade said...

John - it was actually pre Guliani - things did get much better after that - Bill

John Sharpe said...

Now that behavior has spread across the country. Even into a certain mountain town you and I are fond of.