Rupert Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2009

Rupert Howell

Venting over pet peeve leads to hushed mouth

Do you have pet peeves that drive you crazy? The kind that get under your skin and make you mumble and curse? Do you let those responsible know how you feel about it?

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I have a few and one of those is the use of turn signals, (aka blinkers) on an automobile. If you are going to turn left you push your blinker lever down and if you’re going to turn right you push your blinker lever up. It’s very convenient and a lot easier now that we don’t have to use hand signals as we did before blinkers were mandated or maintained on old jalopies of yore. (I wonder how many licensed drivers even know what hand signals mean.)

I often catch myself using my blinker when I’m turning out of my own driveway. We have few neighbors, even less traffic.

My theory of turn signal usage is that it allows other drivers to know your intentions before you commit. They know if you are turning left or right or going straight. Its the mannerly thing to do. That way if someone across the intersection is going to turn right, you can proceed right or straight without impeding their route.

Have you ever been trying to enter a busy road or highway — just waiting and waiting — and then one straggly car that you probably could have gotten ahead of, turns just before they get to you and your wait for clear traffic starts all over again?

Have you ever been at an intersection giving the car across from you the benefit of going straight through because they have no blinker on and they turn right in front of you?

So I recently had my chance to vent when crossing a busy highway after dark with my lovely wife when an unblinkering auto turned in our direction. These old legs don’t move as fast as they once did but they moved a little quicker than usual and the unblinkering driver averted running my wife and me over.

I hollered at him loudly when he passed closely by saying, “Use your blinker.” I think that’s what I said.

The driver just happened to have his window down and proceeded to pull over over to address me. Before I recognized the gentleman I thought I was fixing to get my rear kicked with my lovely wife as a spectator.

“Sir, I  didn’t see you,”  the preacher for whom I have great respect said.

I replied quickly that I should have kept my mouth shut or something, while hoping I didn’t use extra adjectives while previously mentioning something about his blinkers. I quickly shook his hand and went on my way.

Now, when I see someone not using their blinkers I say a quite prayer for them.