Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Like to Tell the World I Am Going Left

By Orny Adams
November 26, 2006

I am convinced people that don’t signal when turning have a deep communication problem. It is that simple.

It is one of the easiest things to do; as your hand is going to move the steering wheel a little to the right or a little to the left, you make this little extra effort and have a little part of your hand, even your little, little pinky, catch the arm of the blinker lever. Simple. Did I use the condescending word “Little” enough in that description? I like the fact that you can add the word “little” to any conversation and make it condescending. "Are you going out with your LITTLE friends tonight? OK, have fun at your LITTLE party and call me later. How’s that LITTLE job coming along?"

How hard is it to tell the other drivers, “I’m going this way?” The car manufacturers made it completely intuitive. They even added a cool sound effect to fool men into thinking communicating is not daytime TV mushy. The only thing that would make it easier would be for the car to just BLINK BLINK BLINK anytime the wheel is turned a certain number of degrees. (Hey, why the hell don’t they do that already?)

In fact, it’s actually difficult for people like me, the great people of the world, to NOT signal. Yes, it would take thought and restraint for me to not signal. (Applause) I am one of those people that even signals when turning into my driveway, late at night, when nobody is around. It is a habit… and a good habit. I even signal if I have a cigarette in one hand, my cell in another, and a bottle of booze in my lap… because it is a good habit.

I do it, because I like to tell the world—I am going left. I am going left and you better adjust your life right now for it. I do it because it is safer.

You don’t do it because you don’t feel like the world deserves to hear from you. You are a snob. A communication elitist. You are selfish. You don’t even deserve to read my words. Stop reading right now.

The trend today is to under communicate love and over communicate hate. (I know, it sounds like I am about to get really deep and philosophical. But hang in there, the dumb will be appeased.) The internet has become a worldwide dumping ground of drive by hatred. People cleverly slamming other people without any accountability. Most comments “people” write about other people, the “people” would not have the balls to say to their face. And I say, if you don’t have the balls to say it to their face-- then shut the hell up.

At what point did humans become so qualified at ripping apart other humans? Most of this hatred smells of self hatred. I say, “Zip it and live your own gawd damn life.” “You suck,” people love to write that on message boards. Really? And what the hell have you done to earn the merit of suck determinater? (Disclaimer: I have been personally and professionally maligned at times and may harbor ill, biased views about this topic. Let me rephrase that: I am biased and all my views on this topic should be weighted as such. Further thought… AT LEAST I AM COMMUNICATING-- I am giving you a signal.) I have always been sensitive to this, even as a kid, but in light of being in a dim spotlight for several years, I have become further aware.

Here lies another example: Let’s say I forget to signal (the one time). I am telling the cars behind me, “I don’t care about you. You see my brake light. You guess:” Is he turning? Did a ball roll out into the street? Did he see a cop? Is he one of these overbrakers? Is the car in front of him turning? (Overload, mind starts drifting.) Did I leave the lights on in the garage? Is that bumper getting closer? The result: The car behind me lays on the horn. That driver is saying, “Nice signal idiot!” He didn’t forget to communicate.

Secretly, I have longed to be deputized as an enforcer of signaling. I would like to have one of those little round police strobe lights I can put on my car’s roof at a moment’s notice. “What am I doing honey? I am enforcing the law. A long forgotten, but very important law.” I would write a ticket for the most heinous amount. The driver would cry, but would be forever reformed. I would rule the signal world. I am sick of guessing if a car is turning. Signaling means that much to me. And that little to most of you.

For now, I just honk, stick my head out the window and yell, “Signal,” like a crazy person.

Now that people are signaling less and less. We have come to expect it less and less. And sometimes when I’m going straight through an intersection, I can sense the driver in oncoming traffic thinks I’m turning left-- so they think they can turn left too-- I can see it in the body language of their car. Now, I have to speed up and put out that, “I’m going straight, don’t cut me off vibe.” And this scares the dickens out of me. When the vibe is not sufficient, I hammer it home with a Tomahawk Chop motion. Which may prevent an accident, but it is insensitive to Native Americans. Conflicted. Is it time for a “straight signal”?

People don’t give a crap about other people. Or most don’t. Or a majority that I see don’t. I see a lot of people wrapped up in themselves. How about the person that sees you on your cell phone and then right next to you starts (that means begins, wasn’t already on the phone) a louder call of their own? I shoot that person a look, and move away. The person that “signals” would read this as, “I did something wrong and in the future should amend my behavior.” The “non signaler” sees this as a victory and their behavior reinforced. Solution: Get closer and louder to that person-- invade their invasion. “What’s that noise in the background? An asshole!”

The world has become a self seeking, self absorbed, self Narcissistic (that means worse than just Narcissistic), “Get the hell out of my way—I’m coming through,” society: My kid deserves TMX Elmo more than yours. If you can’t help the self, if the self doesn’t need you, then the self doesn’t care about you. Help a lady across the street only if you anticipate a big tip. Hold the door for me and I’m not going to thank you. I am going to shove my life, my little cell phone in your face. Cancer is the least of the problems caused by these phones-- they’re not even cell phones anymore—they’re “Self Phones” with unlimited piss everyone off minutes.

Wake me up when it’s all over.

© Copyright Orny Adams, Icrushed Productions 2006