M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, May 03, 2004  

Road Rage

I broke my car horn the other day. But I don't think it was my fault.

I was heading to work on Friday morning on Interstate 94, at the back of a clump of cars going about sixty. I was in the middle lane of three. In my rearview mirror, this little blue Honda straight out of The Fast and the Furious was catching up to us in the right lane, pushing eighty. I had just enough time to think, Oh, he's going to be sad when he gets up here with the rest of us and there's nowhere else to go and then he was next to me. And then he was coming into my lane. Where I was.

Seriously, he was over the dotted line before his back wheel was ahead of my front wheel. There was no room for his car in between mine and the car ahead of me. That didn't stop him. He jinked right over as if nobody was there. I braked, not to let the asshole in, but because if I hadn't he would have hit me. And I couldn't imagine my satisfaction at being in the right would have been much comfort while flipping end-over-end at sixty miles per hour.

Naturally, I leaned on the horn. I held down both buttons as hard as I could, as if that would make it louder or something. I heard once about somebody who drove an old Volkswagen Beetle with the engine in the back, and they had installed a big, crazy airhorn off of a semitruck under the hood/trunk. People would hear that noise and wonder where the hell it was coming from. I was wishing for that horn at this particular moment. But all I could do was blow the horn I had until it quit working. Which it did. Otherwise, I'd probably still be honking it.

At first, I squished the buttons so hard that when the horn quit working I thought I'd broken them. Which was sad, because I was nowhere near done yet.

But then when I got to work and pressed the button on my keychain to set the alarm, there was no telltale horn chirp to tell me it was activated. There was just a soft, muffled click from under the hood. So the alarm was set, but since the alarm consists of the horn going off by itself, the anti-theft system didn't really have a lot of teeth.

I've been without a horn in this car before, but it was worse then because it was in the winter. I'd be in a situation where I'd need my horn to send some complex signal like, "Uh, I wouldn't step out into that crosswalk if I were you, because I've got the green light and the roads are icy and if you dart out in front of me I don't know if I'm going to be able to stop it time." It was also worse because I had to take the car into the dealership to get the horn switch fixed. This time I'm pretty sure it's just a fuse, which I can fix on my own. That will of course involve making a trip to the auto-parts store, picking up a twenty-dollar chip of plastic and metal the size of a fingernail, opening my fuse box, and embarking on a lengthy process of trial and error which will inevitably force me to reset my clock and radio presets after I pull the wrong fuse. But at least I won't be paying someone else for labor.

What I'd really like to do is find that Honda and use one of its fuses, preferably the one that goes with the starter. I'm not immune to road rage, but this was the most serious consideration I'd ever given to following a fellow motorist to his destination and curbstomping him. Mind you, the last time I tried to administer a crunchy beating, I ended up fighting my fellow fourth-grader to a draw, so I wasn't sure I could pull it off anyway. Instead, I pulled around next to him in the right lane (the spot he'd just abandoned, in fact) drew just slightly ahead of even with him (which I could do because we were still at the back of the pack), and gave him a "Look what your dick move accomplished, asshole" look. And then we were at my exit, so I pulled off.

I'm only sad that I failed to get his license plate number, because you can bet your ass I'd be posting it here.

Today's best search phrase: "Centipede tanning machine." Also known as a "toaster oven."

posted by M. Giant 3:59 PM 0 comments


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