Most of the time the children and I are in the car we are doing more stopping and moving side to side than moving forward. I feel the circumstances elicit an unnecessary amount of hostile energy and negativity for my fellow drivers. However, my wife has a different opinion. I rarely honk the horn if a driver is not paying attention or they do something that frustrates me. Slightly more often I will say words such as, “What is this yahoo doing!?” My responses or lack thereof do not win praises by my wife. And the children recognize this.
The other day we were on our morning commute when a driver in front of me did not move after the light turned green. I honked the horn once gently. They still did respond. I honked the horn twice with a little more force. That got the driver’s attention and they drove. As we began moving forward my older daughter asked, “Dad if your car could say words what would they be?
Lurching forward with a smile, my younger daughter began to laugh and said, “I know what mommy’s would say, it would say, it would say ‘Move your fucking car you stupid, you stupid head!”
She and my older daughter leaned into each other and laughed.
“No, mommy would say ‘Get out of the way you fucking stupid dumb ass!’
They could barely breathe they were laughing so hard.
“You’re probably right,” I added laughing
“Daddy, what would your horn say?”
“Please pay attention.”
“That’s boring dad.” The older one groaned.
“Ya dad, that’s boring.” The young echoed.
“It’s not boring, it’s telling other drivers what I want them to do. If my car horn said cuss words or tried to into someone’s bucket would that get people to listen and be respectful.”
My older daughter thought for a second while my younger daughter continued to recover after sharing her initial idea.
“Plus,” I added. “Just because I use cuss words, that doesn’t mean the driver is going to care. The words might not have any power for them.”
The back seat was quiet for a moment. I felt a mild sense of guilt. I was clearly a buzzkill for their fun, but I also want them to know that the underlying principles of road rage are not going to get us auto insurance discounts ten years from now.
About one second of silence later my younger child loudly said, “My horn would say, ‘you stupid fucking, ass, bitch head! Move, you bitch stupid car!”
The two were hysterical.
Fast forward to later in the week. My wife is driving. I’m in the passenger seat. The children are in the back seat. My children ask my wife, “Mommy, if your horn could say words, what would they be?”
“I don’t know, why?”
They then speculated for her what she would say. Their words were similar to the words they shared with me earlier in the week.
My wife laughed, “Ya, probably.”
I then repeated my thoughts about the matter; bucket dipping, power of words, etc.
My wife then said, “Who cares? Cussing feels better.”
“Sure it feels better, but this is your car horn, not you,” I said.
My wife looked in the rearview mirror and noticed my older daughter roll her eyes.
“That’s right.” my wife said rolling her eyes.
After a brief silence my older daughter, likely recognizing that the conversation was not going to be as funny as it was a few days earlier asked, “Can we go out for dinner tonight?”