Friday, March 14, 2008

Blinkers: A Manual

Blinkers serve a number of useful purposes. Blinkers say, “Heads up! I’m planning to turn at the next intersection, so I’ll be braking soon!” Blinkers also announce, “Yes, I am deliberately changing lanes! Don’t worry, I’m not drunk or asleep at the wheel!” They tell others, “I’d like to get into that lane, so please leave me some room.” When you think about it, blinkers are one of the only lines of communication between one car and the fifty thousand other vehicles on the highway. They are the true heroes of the road.

In addition to being a good communication tool, blinkers are surprisingly easy to use! Using your blinkers requires only a stretch of the index finger and a flip of the wrist. This takes only one second of your whole day, which really isn’t much at all! Think about it- even if you change lanes ten times on the way to work, that is only ten seconds of your day. DON’T WORRY- if you realize that you have made a mistake and you do not wish to turn or change lanes (it happens to the best of us!), it’s quite easy to disengage your blinker using the same motions. In sum, using blinkers is quick and easy.

I object- no, I strenuously object*- to sudden, willy-nilly lane changes and unannounced turns. Remember, folks, this isn’t NASCAR, it’s rush hour! You don’t win any points with the crowd when you smash into me and turn my Subaru into a spectacular ball of blazing fire. Actually, drivers from at least three states will be cursing both you and your mother because you are the cause one of those horrendous back-ups as seen on the morning traffic report. And don’t think that it’s just the northbound drivers that will hate you, because we all know how the folks on the southbound side like to stop and see what’s going on. Presumably, I will be dead as a result of the fiery crash, but even in the afterlife I will haunt you on behalf of the many squirrels and other creatures that were displaced as the car fire spread to the surrounding area.

Therefore, I strongly urge DC area drivers to reconsider their ongoing boycott of blinkers. As you can see, it would save us all a lot of trouble in the end.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Where are my blinkers located?

A: Good question! In most cars, the blinkers are controlled by a lever that sticks out to the left of the steering wheel. If you push the lever UP, you are indicating that you want to move to the right. If you pull the lever DOWN, you are indicating that you want to move to the left.

Q: I have a social anxiety disorder. Can I use blinkers?

A: Yes. In fact, you will love blinkers. They allow you to communicate effectively without talking to a single person.

Q: My mom told me that only pussies use blinkers. Is that true?

A: No. Your mom is an asshole.

Q: I stopped using my blinkers because other drivers speed up to prevent my lane change!

Trust me, as they are speeding up, at least fifty other drivers are noticing and thinking about what assholes they are. Besides, I never said that blinkers were the ONLY form of communication. See Bird: flipping of.

Q: I was in a freak accident as a child and don’t have any middle fingers. What should I do?

Make a sign that says FUCK YOU. Display when necessary.

*Bonus points if you recognize this movie quote

(manual edited by Devilsadvocate and J.M. Tewkesbury)

Labels: ,


Anonymous DevilsAdvocate said...

I hope I don't reveal myself to be a fool by opening my mouth and taking your FAQ literally, but all my cars have the turn signal stalk on the left-hand side of the wheel, resulting in a reversal of the directions given (lift the lever to signal right, lower the lever to signal left).

Also, this is kind of neat.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Ooh! I wanna add something:

Q: Okay, I turned on my blinker, I made my lane change, but now I don't know how to stop the blinking light! What do I do?

A: Return the lever to its original position. People who blink but do not follow through with their action will be ostracized from the driving population.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

The quote sounds like something from Party Girl, but probably isn't.

9:01 PM  
Blogger J.M. Tewkesbury said...

A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise mocking Demi Moore for strenuously objecting to a motion by the prosecution.

Um, one question about blinkers. On my Honda CR-V, my blinker thinger is on the left hand side of the steering wheel. What kind of car are you driving that it's on the right? I want one, whatever it is.

Seriously, though, excellent post! 95% of drivers in this area are certified morons, imho.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Sweet Irene said...

Ha, ha, very good. In the Netherlands, people forget this simple skill also, or only do it while they are already changing lanes, not when they intend to.

10:17 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

Dang it, J.M beat me to it! I knew it was A Few Good Men! I have that movie!

I always yell at people when they don't use their signals. Thankfully, I've usually lived in areas where most people still use them.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I despise the blinker boycotters! I always give them a piece of my mind. Of course they can't hear me and I'm too wimpy to use the bird. Oh well.

Is your steering wheel on the right hand side, too? Wait! I know! You smuggled a car back from Ye Old Ireland.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

devilsadvocate and Tewkes are correct... my blinker IS on the left. I will amend the manual immediately.

jonathan- I am cracking up! That's a great addition for the FAQ.

suzy- you and tewkes are correct- A Few Good Men! We should do a quote-off for that movie sometime. There are so many good ones. ("You're goddamn right I ordered the Code Red!")

Roxanne- yes, maybe I was thinking of Ireland. :)

10:03 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Irene- that happens here, too. I also love the people who blink ONCE as they are alrady straddling two lanes.

By the way, Tewkes, that was a very complete answer to the movie quote challenge. I'm very impressed!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

And for the record, I don't actually advocate liberal use of the middle finger. As some of you know, I once flipped the bird at a driver who turned out to be a cop in an unmarked police car. You can explain that you didn't realize you were doing 65 mph in a 50, but you can't say that your middle finger went up by itself.

Also, there are too many crazy people out there. Flipping the bird at the wrong person could get you shot.

10:34 AM  
Blogger J.M. Tewkesbury said...

You may not be able to explain flipping off a cop--in a marked or unmarked car--but if you did it, it was likely well deserved. Cops in this area, who should be the bastions and examples of good driving behavior, are some of the worst offenders.

Case in point: the couple of weeks ago, at the corner of 5th and Peabody NW, I watched a police officer, on a cell phone, roll up to a red light, look both ways and casually drive through it. (And no, he wasn't on his way to a call.) Not three seconds later, a van came through the intersection on the green light. Had it been three seconds sooner, the cop would have gotten creamed. And had a regular Joe Citizen done what that cop did, s/he would have received a ticket. I could go on and on, as I'm sure you could, too.

As for movie quotes, the real pros are my sister and brother who can quote stuff I can barely remember. I just got lucky with this one!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Tewkes- I'd say he deserved it, even more so when I found out he was a cop.

(this is not to say that my blood didn't turn to ice water when I saw the lights go on...)

10:54 AM  
Blogger Zen Master said...

I thought it was just my imagination that every time I turned on my blinkers to change lanes the car in that lane would speed up.

I have been conducting research (lol) in whether blinkers are the cause of other cars speeding up because I told my husband it wasn't my imagination.
I'll have to refer him to your manual.

I like to keep both hands on the wheel so I just turn and stare as they pull up next to me and make sure I say F-U-A. really slow and deliberate so they can tell. For some reason when they speed up they always like to look over.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

I had someone turn left in front of me yesterday without benefit of a blinker. Sometimes I want to speed up and hit them on purpose.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

I'm totally quoting you because I cannot understand why people find their blinkers to be superfluos accessories. They are there for a reason. USE THEM.

10:46 AM  
Blogger GDad said...

Amen, sister!

5:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home