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Where’s that horn?

Where's the horn?

Now, where was that horn again?

The car horn – it’s a strange beast. It might be found on one of the steering column stalks, in the centre of the steering wheel or between the centre of the steering wheel and the wheel itself. What’s it for? Its only legitimate purpose is to let other road users know you’re there. Is it ever used for such a purpose?

Nope.

Well, I’ve used it for that purpose once in my life. Someone began reversing towards me and I gave a little honk to let him know he ought to stop before he dinged me.

Its common usage is twofold:

“Oy! You cut me up, you little shit! Learn to drive!”

and

“Boy, I’ve been stuck in this queue for ever. I think I’ll vent my frustration by honking my horn.”

The first I can understand, the second would wind me up except that I’ve never been exposed to it. In fact I’ve only ever seen it happen on TV. I don’t know if it even happens in real life. I was stuck in traffic for 8 hours on the M25 London Orbital once and not a single person used their horn.

In TV and films, horns are used just before an accident to add a little something to the scene. What happens next depends on the plot, of course.  Sometimes the accident is averted, sometimes the oncoming vehicle seems to have time to honk their horn but fails to slow down before plowing into the hapless pedestrian!

Finding the horn in real life is a bit more of a problem. I’m usually too busy braking and swerving to honk at the offending vehicle. In the past couple of years I’ve tried it twice. The first time nothing happened due to technical problems (the garage couldn’t find anything wrong, probably water got in). The second happened last week.

There I was on the roundabout, minding my own business. I saw lights to the left, but being on the roundabout it was my right of way. Suddenly there was a flash of silver in front of me, then it was gone. The car approaching was going so fast, not only did he have no chance of stopping but I barely even saw him cross in front of me. It wasn’t exactly a near miss, he was a good couple of metres away. There was a car parked just off the roundabout with someone in it (he’d just dropped someone off) – I saw the guy’s jaw drop and he was pointing incredulously at the speeding car. If I’d been going any faster probably both my car and the speeder’s would have been written off, the speed he was going.

So I decided, I’m going to give him a good beep. I’m going to give him both barrels, big time. OK, it’s after 10pm and it’s illegal to sound my horn in a built-up area, but I just don’t care. I rammed my hand at the steering column, and viciously changed the car computer readout from “trip” to “distance until empty”. Bollocks.

Where’s that horn?

  1. June 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Al, After that speeder we’re glad you’re still with us. 🙂 —Susan

    Like

    • June 8, 2014 at 8:21 am

      It was nearly the end of draliman 😦

      Like

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