Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Honk is a Four-Letter Word

Do pedestrians still have the right of way, or did that rule get removed from the book of safe social customs & good ethics when I wasn't looking? A curious phenomenon has affected (or is it infected?) a large number of drivers in the city I reside in. You could almost call it DWI (driving while insane). I won't say its the majority, but I can say that at least one of the following has occurred nearly every single day I've stepped outside for the entirety of this year:

- a traffic accident nearly occurs... in dry, sunny weather

- a traffic accident does occur... in dry, sunny weather

- a barrage of car horns blow at no discernible person, for no discernible reason

- a vehicle of some kind (car, van, truck, even bike!) almost hits me

- a vehicle of some kind (car, van, truck, even bike!) does hit me (this only happened once in my life before 2015, and three times in 2016 alone)

- a driver shouts or screams vulgar/demeaning* words at me

(* to be clear: their words, by revealing the contents of their own chosen thoughts, demeaned them. I myself, have not been personally hurt, lowered, or offended, by anything anyone has said in quite a long while.)

All of the above, by the way, is only counting times when I was walking, not biking. (I don't drive; haven't since I was 17. Personal reasons I won't bore you with here.) Also, this is not to due to ignoring traffic lights, or walking oblivious to my surroundings. So what's this all about? What is the cause of all this... literal road rage?

It almost seems that when some get behind a steering wheel, they leave behind all traces of moral awareness & personal accountability – not too unlike when those called “trolls” leave their less-than-friendly comments on the anonymous bulletin board that is the internet. The irony is... so many feel safer in a vehicle, when they are at the center of so much danger. I don't know if all the stress & anxieties of contemporary living are simply bearing their fruit, or if we've just become too impatient, self-important, and preoccupied as a population.

Whatever it is... it's made “honk” the most profane four-letter word by far in my mind.

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