I drive through downtown Louisville every day on my way home from work. The interstate would be faster, but Spaghetti Junction’s usually choked at 17:30, so I keep to the surface streets and cross the Second Street Bridge to get back into Hoosier Land.
Louisville’s Main Street is five lanes wide. There is a stoplight where it intersects Second Street. The right two lanes are turn-only, and will put you on the bridge. There are signs and arrows to point out this fact.
Sometimes I find myself in the left of the two turn-only lanes, and about 40% of the time there is a clueless idiot in the lane to my right who wants to go straight. Forget the signs, the arrows, the guy on his left (me) staring him down in the side-view, right-turn signal flashing for the last half block. If I don’t stop, he’ll ram right into me.
But there is a silver lining.
A ’96 Toyota 4Runner comes equipped with an adequate “beep beep”, “trumpet him melodiously”* horn. In 2002, or thereabouts, I installed additional air horns. These are much more effective at grabbing someone’s attention. Sort of the difference between a pudgy crossing guard in a yellow vest and a neon moose packing a bazooka.
Once I’ve determined that I’m dealing with a zombie (the bad kind sucking on a Red Bull, chatting with the glowing blue doorknob that grows from his ear), I let loose the horns of wrath.
“HHAAaaaaaaaaahhhhrrnnkk!!!” A two-three second burst works great.
The thing I like most about that far right lane is that it ends on the other side of the intersection in a concrete hump about 18″ tall. As the blockhead blue-toothed zombie zips in front of me, he’s so startled by the ear-splitting attack-goose blast, he doesn’t notice that he’s about to rearrange his ground effects and ventilate his oil pan.
Sometimes he pulls it out in time. Often, he doesn’t.
A happy sunshine moment.
*Attributed to a Tokyo car rental brochure:
“When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.”
In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
“To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.”
A sign for skiers in an Austrian hotel:
“Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.” [Hooray, The Boots of Ascension! I’m sure it was 1997 when I read that for the first time. This movie must be made. “In a world where the President is elected by national spelling bee, a potted plant is CEO of Microsoft, and our National Anthem is the Hamster Dance, ninja cowboy hacker Steel Jack Bombkill, and his wisecracking goldfish Travis, travel through time to save the planet, his fiance, his soul, and a box of crackers, from total annihilation. To accomplish their task, they must find his father’s boots, the Boots. Of. Ascension!“]
Detour sign in Kyushi, Japan:
Stop! Drive Sideways.
A Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.