Monday, May 9, 2011

Hands at ten and toot

I have already complained extensively about how the intrusion of the car into life here and how things could be so much better here were it subordinated to humans. But rather than complain again, I will begin to study the use of vehicles here and attempt to make productive suggestions for the improvement of the situation. Here is my first attempt contribution.

I went to Boston once as a young man and student and was floored by the living history there, straight out of the textbooks. And my greatest memory of the trip was the incessant freaking honking of horns! that prevented soulful sleep or even rational waking thought.

I later returned to Boston as an adult to discover that they had largely addressed the problem. Sure, there was honking (you can take the hole out of Mass., but you can't take the Mass out of the...and so on), but it seemed more strategic and less like the incessant complaining it had seemed before. And now I need to know how they silenced the horns, and whether they had translated any of their messaging into Spanish. For the picture above, of the drive-ready position, is not Boston but Ecuador.

This position is necessary because drivers are required here to press the car horn whenever it is within reach. They do have odd pauses, the reasons for which I have not been able to figure out, but the pauses always seem to come immediately after the following events:
- After passing someone the driver knows or thinks is hot.
- Having passed a car emerging from a side street.
- Having passed a car slowing to turn into a side street ahead.
- Having passed a car that, for some reason, stopped at a stop sign.
- Having passed any side street, driveway, parking lot, or parked car.
- Ten seconds after a stoplight has turned red until seven milliseconds after it again turns green again.
- Having just passed, within a side mirror's length at sixty miles per hour, a hunched over old lady carrying a 40-pound sack on her back who dared cross the street.
- Having just passed a fast moving bus, moving back out of the opposite lane missing the front of the bus and the oncoming freight truck (neither of whom slowed down) by twelve inches each.
- Having had one's face peeled from the car horn, being woken from a Zhumir-induced coma, and told to please proceed through the drive-thru.
- Having been thrown through the front windshield (though technically the hands are still in the same position on the wheel, but the wheel is no longer connected to the car).

There are others, but they don't seem to create any greater pattern from which we can deduce the reason for these brief pauses. I will continue to examine this phenomenon, but in the meantime, after extensive research and study, I propose this bold and radical solution: Create and enforce traffic laws.

"Big thinking precedes great achievement."
    Wilfred Peterson

Come on, Ecuador, dream big.

No comments:

Post a Comment