Horns and Turn Signals

Well, I have been in a bit of a writing slump. I have written several posts and stored them or trashed them and then reworked them and when I did publish them, not as much as a giggle or smile from anyone. Talk about depressing. For that reason I have stayed away, much to your relief, I am sure. Wouldn’t you know that today I read a post that inspired me to share a recent frustration of mine. SO, if you are upset that I disturbed your hiatus from the Big Bags O Fun journey, blame Carrie Lou Who, one of my favorite writers here in Blogland. She just wrote about her hubby’s near brush with prison for not using his turn signal. You should check it out.

I am one of those guys that really gets worked up when someone doesn’t use a turn signal. I would have said “Serves him right, that idiot. Drivers should always use turn signals for the safety of those around them and to let me know where you are headed.”  Of course, the same doesn’t apply to me. I can freely give feedback when someone doesn’t use their signal.

“Oh really, Mr. Cadillac? No turn signals installed in the 2012 models?”

“Hey buddy, nice turn signal! Moron!”.

“Thanks alot!” as I slam on the brakes and my french fries fly against the dashboard. “Now I have salt on my dash? Nice”

I know its hard to believe that someone as sweet and genteel as the Bagman could ever show emotion ro get frustrated, but it do happen. The good thing is that the bag on my head usually muffles the sounds and most people can’t make it out. Most people think its sounds like a loud child with a mouth full of mashed potatoes, or you after your root canal and dental extractions with a mouth full of cotton.

But it is me, alas. Mr. Hypocrisy, owner of the teal vampire lemon, which really has turned out to be a reliable little car after I dumped more money into it than I had and that I can never recoup if I sell it. Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I praise it, the thing starts shorting out?  When I bought it, the speedometer didn’t work but the tachometer did and so did the other gauges. It passed inspection with no speedometer, so it really hasn’t been that bad. I judge my speed by the cars around me and my mileage hasn’t increased a single mile since I bought the car. The bad thing is it doesn’t really look that good for a supernatural, ageless car with 68,000 eternal miles on it.

Now the tachometer is being fickle. It may read 1000 when it should read 3000 and doesn’t get to its proper place without a firm thump on the plastic cover. Post-thump performance is good for a while (kind of like when I was a kid and Dad would thump me as a silent reminder to hush or settle down).  The grinding of the gears let’s me know which one I am shifting into. It’s really a nice feature. Most other cars you have guess. With mine, no doubt exists to me (or my neighbors) that I am trying to get into 2nd gear. Once it’s there, it does fine just as long as I hold the shifter in place and don’t let it jump into neutral. That’s a common problem, right? That’s what the man who sold it to me said?

The other fun thing about my little teal devil is that the turn signals and horn just stopped working one day. BAM! No turn signals. No horn. Kind of weird that they are on the same fuse. Seems like I should be able to honk at the car that is about to hit me because I didn’t indicate my turn. I replaced the fuse and it worked great again……for 1 day. Then I replaced it again but the same thing happened and now it happens immediately. I bought 3 boxes of fuses, all with 1 of the size I need. mysteriously, I turn the key and I have blinker and a horn. I start the car and there is a slight crack, a burning smell, and no more blinking lights. A wise mechanic friend told me “You have a short circuit somewhere”. 

(crickets)

“A short,  huh?”

(more crickets)

(Deafening silence and lack of contribution)

Yeah, just like you, I’m still waiting for the rest of the wisdom like “What you need to do is this…….”.

So, I try to adapt. I am saving money to get it fixed. I can’t put it on my Firestone account since I overstayed my welcome there when I first bought my little beauty. the car still runs fine. It just doesn’t have any safe way to indicate that I am turning, or that you are a terrible driver and should stay away from me. As a result I strive to drive in “turn only” lanes where there should be no surprises and I also try to go straight for a very long time. It can really become a VERY long time in traffic when I would usually move to get off the road. Guess what? In Houston, it’s no signal? No way baby!  No Horn? Forget it!

“What about hand signals, Bagman?”

“Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” Oh wait, I did and you know what? My left hand is my cell phone hand and the hand I steer with when I am shifting my car. Imagine the disruption to our conversation as you are talking me and suddenly you are overwhelmed by the deafening roar of wind and traffic when you suddenly exit my car as my left hand shoots out to execute a perfect  right hand turn signal, phone in hand. Imagine what that would be like on video phone? Wow! What a cool idea! 

Anyway, the real problem is that there are only two groups of  people who know the hand signals. 1. Elderly drivers and 2. Kids taking driver’s ed. Ever been told by your child taking driver’s ed that you violated a law while driving with them? It’s fun. I mean after all, it was such a minor, little known law that I had never heard of it. Ridiculous really. Ok. Since you asked. Did you know it is illegal for a car to jump a curb in order to beat someone to a parking spot in order to show superiority as a person? How arcane! Before long they are gonna pass laws preventing someone from crossing two solid lines while drinking beer from an open container with no headlights and heading north in the southbound lane. Can you believe that? What are they gonna come up with next? Use your headlights people!

Oh! I was talking about hand signals and the elderly. There are a few problems there. 1. They can’t see them , 2. They forgot what they meant, and 3. They think you are just being nice, waving.  Usually, if my hand is outside the window it is to offer you an entirely different type of gesture, which is usually intended to relieve frustration, not be overly friendly in traffic, but I get lots of friendly waves when I am turning my car.  

Younger drivers can’t really believe people used to drive with hand signals. They think everyone is flipping you off or throwing down gang signs. I have to be really careful driving around my home which is near what some might call “the hood”. Just like the other night.

There I was, minding my own “non-hood” business. I stuck my hand out to turn right. Suddenly, there is my new friend Mr. Big and his boys, wondering why I brought my little vampire car down there and why I was “throwin down” on them. 

Big: “Say man, you threw down on Jimmy the Snitch and he ain’t happy about it”

Me: “I did no such thing. I was using my right turn signal.”

Big: “Did you guys see his signals come on?”

Me: “No no no. They don’t work”.

Big: “WHO YOU SAYIN DON’T WORK! I work at that store right there, and Jimmy, he works down at the pawn shop and Little Joe is down at McDonalds.

Joe:. “Not any more.”

Big: “MAN, SHUT UP!”  (whack)

Me: “No gentleman, I meant the turn signals on my car don’t work”

Big: “Uh Huh. Was that Jimmy’s fault? Do you think he DESERVED that? Why did you go throw that sign to Jimmy, dude? You owe Jimmy money don’t you?”

Jimmy: “MMMM HMMMM. Yep. He shore does. Yessir. I remember now. He owes me ……25 (Big whispers “fifty”)  Oh Yeah, $50 dollars. You better pay up old man!”

Me: Tears in my eyes. “I just want to go home but my signals don’t work and you don’t have any turn lanes in the hood and my horn is broken and my speeedometer doesn’t work,  (“and yo paint is awful, man”), and my paint is awful. Can’t I please just leave?”

Big: “Ain’t that sad boys? A grown man crying. Let him go”

I pull off and make it to the next intersection. I raise my arm and make a right turn signal, pointing up.

“HEYYYYY!  I SAW THAT OLD MAN!!! YOU GONNA GET IT NOW!”

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4 thoughts on “Horns and Turn Signals

  1. Your car may have its issues, but its worth quite a lot in humorous blog posts. You should put a sign on the back “you hit it, you own it”. That will fix things either way.

    • Somebody will take me up and then i will have to be on foot. I only have one good one so I actually need someone who loves little teal vampires to buy it and give it a good home. Perefarably hanging in someone else’s fruity cave so it feels loved and will never go hungry. I am a caring soul after all.

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