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So It Goes

Honking Back 
by Jason Love


December 31, 2004

The horn is the most abused feature of today's motor vehicle (the back seat taking a close second among teenagers). The horn was designed for cases of emergency. Not emergency as in, Hey, buddy, the light is green, but emergency as in, Hey, this guy doesn't understand the merge concept.

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The honking that I would like to address doesn't even occur when we are on the road; it occurs while we are relaxing at home and the neighbor decides to HONK for her son to come out. HONK, I say. The son doesn't come out because he can't hear her over his music, so what does mom do? She honks again. And again. Honk, honk, honk, honk.

Finally the son comes out adds his own noise: "All right, already. I'm coming!"

It's part of a nationwide honking epidemic. It started in New York as a curse by the Native Americans for our developing over them. Now everyone across the country is honking at each other to hurry up, slow down, shut up, vote Republican, you name it. People are honking as they drive by a friend's house just to say hi. We've begun to develop honking patterns so that our friends can recognize our honk from others. Morse Honking.

The question I would like to pose is this: What about the other people on the block to whom these honks do not pertain? Their homes consist of the same honk-penetrable material. Their ears are curved for maximum reception like those of the neighbor boy.

Every time someone honks, it's an invasion of privacy. That includes the people who work nights, the babies that are -- were -- napping, and nuts like myself who are trying to write. With that blast of the horn, we are all sucked into someone else's non-emergency, our home a fallen sanctuary.

We we are really talking about is common courtesy (the term was coined when it was still common). We are talking about the thievery of our peace.

To all the people who honk from the curb instead of getting out of their cars: You are breaking and entering up and down the street. Beware of nuts like me who have the time to follow you home. Because one night, just as you're about to fall asleep, you might be in for a big HOOOOONNNNNNNK.


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Copyright 2004 Jason Love
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