Why Honking Horns Really Bother Me
Has nothing to do with horns.
My folks forced me to move here in 1967 from New York State.
I was 11 and I didn’t like it one bit. Too hot, too humid, people talked funny, weird food like grits, “won’t you come to our church”, concrete “pill box” houses. Long list of complaints.
I was constantly comparing things to how they did things “Up North.” I was corrected by a teacher not to refer to New York City as “The City” since there were other cities even though it was (at the time) the largest in the USA. I was corrected by a different teacher not to say “yes”, when answering a question, but to say “yes, ma’am.”
Boy, was I grumpy about all this. Did I mention how hot and humid it is around here? Well it is.
But one thing I did not miss (and there were some other things, too) was the use of the car horn. “Up North” horn use was common.
If you went to pick someone up at their house, did you p-a-h-k the c-a-h and go up to the door and ring the doorbell? You did not — you pulled the car to the curb and you laid on the horn until the person in question came out. Never mind about annoying the neighbors. Screw them, you were important.
Stuck in a traffic jam? Lay on the horn! Someone doesn’t go when the light turns green? Lay on the horn! In fact, lay on the horn before the light turns green, then they will know you mean business! That’s the way it was in New York.
I didn’t think that was right even when I was up north. Horns were meant to be used sparingly and so it was in Orlando. In fact, I think that people are a little too easy on the horn around here. Sometimes the horn is necessary. I know that I have to think about three times to even find the horn when I need it.
After a few years I got used to things they way they were around here.
So that is why I just about jump out of my skin when somebody comes up behind me while I’m riding my bike and honks their horn.
Given the tradition of Orlando, and its civil driving, I would think that this would be a great place for a civility initiative to succeed. The old-timers need to be reminded and to gently explain to the new-comers how things are, the way it was explained to me.