Over the last two weeks (minus my NYC excursion obviously), as I tootle around in my automobile around this great city (and the surrounding areas of course), I have been keeping track of something.
Pray tell, LongStar, what have you been keeping track of?
Thank you for asking, let me fill you in…
Before we really get started, let me give you a bit of a back story. I am, as some of you may know, a Southern guy. I believe in manners and courtesy and chivalry and all the other great qualities of a gentleman that seem to have disappeared in our society. Through my 30-something years, I have spent time all over this great nation, and as an adult, I spent a great deal of time in Los Angeles and traveled to other places. Through all of my travels, I carried my manners and courtesy with me.
My landing point is, if you haven’t figured that out yet, in the Midwest. I love the area, I love the people, I love the snow. However, and that is a BIG however, there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now.
During the last 14 days of driving I have, by my count, let 23 people in front of me via the ubiquitous wave. The wave that says, “Sure, go ahead, your comfort is more important than mine.” What I am about to discuss has always bothered me, so much so that I have been keeping a count (via tick marks on a piece of paper in my automobile), and the results of this little survey, or research if you will, are disturbing. Of the 23 lucky souls I have decided not to close the door on with the car in front of me, only one of them, over the past two weeks, has given me the “thank you wave.”
Okay, now…um…what the fuck people? This statistic is incredibly perplexing to me, and I do not understand how or why it is so hard to throw your hand in the air (and wave it like you just don’t care) to let me (and other drivers) know that you appreciate the effort. This lack of effort by non-courteous drivers, of course, leads me to honking and flipping them off, which is just going to put a bee in anyone’s bonnet, including my own. It doesn’t seem like that hard of a task, and such a wave can really brighten someone’s day, and keep the Karma wheel spinning in a positive direction. And by that I mean I will continue to let other drivers in if I feel appreciated for doing so.
As I tend to overanalyze things, this lack of courtesy by Midwestern drivers has got me to thinking. Perhaps, just perhaps, it is that hard. Perhaps, however unlikely, the 22 people that decided to say “fuck you buddy” by not waving have broken arms. Maybe they have monkeys driving their cars for them due to the fact that they are quadriplegic and are merely sitting in the driver’s seat for aesthetic purposes. Or maybe the more likely scenario is they have forgotten how to wave, how to say thank you to a fellow driver, and in that case, let me show you how it is done.
First, right now, get into your vehicle. Oh, okay, not right now, because then you would miss the lesson, but after you are done reading…print this out if you need to. Hold your right arm out to your side (or your left arm if it is a nice day and so desire to extend it out the window…I am not responsible for broken bones or glass if you don’t roll your window down first). Now, with your arm extended, bend your elbow upwards so that your arm is at a 90 degree angle. See that? We can see that out your back glass. I constitute that as a wave, as a “thank you for all you have done LongStar”. You could even take it a step further and wave your hand around a little bit, perhaps in the “princess on a float fashion,” or give the peace sign. If you can lift and bend your arm to flip me off because I honk at you for some idiotic event that just took place due to your ineptitude behind the wheel, you can wave too. It’s just that easy!
So you see, my fellow drivers, not everyone has to be a douchebag. It is just as easy to say thank you as it is to receive the favor that warrants the thank you in the first place. And if you think that it will not come back to you for not being courteous in return, let me tell you my good friend, Karma is a bitch.
And another one gone, and another gone, another one bites the dust.