Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Driving Manners and manners in General.

Good Morning Gentle People;

Well here it is, another Christmas. Sometimes it seems as though Christmas rolls around with ever increasing frequency, causing a lot of us to be out about and frequently in traffic.

I've just noticed lately, and given some thought to driving manners. I guess I am guilty in not reflecting sooner on the fact that I have noticed that not too many people honk at other cars anymore, unless its a friend, and the driver wants to say a "Hooter Hello" (Not in anyway associated with the restaurant Chain of the same name) But just to be friendly. I have noticed with people seem to be becoming more mannerly towards other drivers when out and about on the highways and byways.

This may be because We live in a small more or less rural area, where most people know one another and don't see the point of aggravating them with a toot of the Horn when the other person is a little slow in getting started when the Traffic Light changes, or maybe its because they are like me and drive a vehicle whose horn button is well hidden on the steering wheel. On my two old vehicles the horn area is designated by a little avatar of a Bugle or some such, and if one wishes to honk ones's horn, it requires a search for the insignia and thus taking one's eyes off the road, which is never a good idea. I can well remember the Days when one could honk one's horn simply by pressing the center of the steering wheel , and then later on the fancy new cars, the gleaming chrome horn ring.

Oh well, just idle thought, but I hope its indicitive of the general population's becoming more polite. Who knows?

Prior to living in the small town we currently reside in, we lived in, Among other places, New Orleans, La. Now to be fair I say emphatically we loved living in New Orleans and have frequently wished we could go back (as I suspect all old folks do) and revisit our young married lives. But one thing about New Orleans was the lack of Traffic Manners of a lot of its drivers. When one was stopped at a Traffic Light, just as soon as the light appeared to perhaps be making up its electrical mind to change colors, one would almost always hear the Driver behing them "setting down" on the horn, followed in succession by other drivers, equally in a hurry to turn off at the next street. I tried almost always to ignore these Honkers and just go about my driving in a safe manner, but not all people did. There were frequent occasions when altercations would ensue at traffic signals, when one or more drivers would alight from their cars and mix it up, due to nothing more than irritation to having to wait a whole five or ten seconds to continue their journey.

I had an occasion once, as an upper funtionary of a concern, to transfer a person from a small town in Mississippi to New Orleans, as a Field Technician.

Within the first few days of this person's work out of the New Orleans Office, he would frequently come into the office red in the face, and quivering with indignation because of the "Idiots behind him Honking for no reason". He said, once, that he felt like getting out of his vehicle and going to teach the guy behind him some manners. I told him he would be well advised to stay in his vehicle.

Nevertheless, he came back into the Office one afternoon sporting a beaut of a Black Eye, Complete with gross swelling.

I asked him where and how he obtained the shiner, and he replied.

"Well, I was sitting at a light on Canal Street, waiting for it to change, when the Guy behind me started honking his horn, over and over, and the light hadn't even changed yet, so I looked in my mirror and saw it was some guy in a little VW Bug, and decided to get out, go back to the Bug and teach the guy some manners`. When I got to the Guys Window, all I got to say was 'listen" when an arm roughly the size of my waist emerged from the window and a fist the size of a Country Ham smacked me in the face and knocked me down", he continued, " I got up and went back to my vehicle and drove on, and pulled over so the guy in the Bug could pass me, so as not to slow him down".

He said, "You were right, Boss".

Would that we could all learn manners from just one such incident, or better yet, by the Tried and True old Standby, COMMON SENSE .

Have a Happy and Safe Christmas and New Years, and if you don't want to stay sober, stay Home!



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