Sign Language (DOG EAR)

Sign Language (DOG EAR)

ometimes I’ll craft a word up whose meaning is obvious. And sometimes someone will tell me it isn’t a “real word”.

To that, I explain, “If you know what I meant and what I communicated to you, then it serves as a ‘real word’. Information was communicated.”

Noticed it today while driving the wife to breakfast. In our little neighborhood in Orlando, originally Virginia was a neighborhood street. Sometime along the way, the city sacrificed about a hundred front lawns and made it four lanes (me, I think if you want to live way outside of town, you should deal with the traffic, rather then eminent-domaining a bunch of private property so you can scoot through quicker). Regardless.

At this point, Virginia is four lanes but it makes a ninety-degree turn up Forest Avenue, then turns again onto Corrine Drive. Usually, leaving the neighborhood, we come out from “old Virginia” onto the new road at the turn, facing into the traffic and waiting for them to clear before popping out. Still, a lot of people fly down four-lane Virginia onto two-lane Virginia without a care in the world (explaining the sprouting of speed bumps along the latter).

So today, enroute to breakfast, I came west on old Virginia and looked both ways. Coming towards me, one Jeep FUV, nicely filling the gap between myself and a whole pack of cars. The woman driving wasn’t signalling so I had to assume she was going to curve past my nose and go north on Forest.

But no, she didn’t signal. She just went straight onto old Virginia, sailing past me and heading east.

Of course, now there was no chance to get out. The other cars were there and we faced a minute or two wait for traffic to clear.

So, she could have signaled me, telling me that she was exiting the main road here. That simple act of communication (right under her very finger) could have told me that I could hustle out and clear the oncoming pack. But she didn’t feel like sharing that information.

And so we were screwed.

But non-verbal communication works both way. Since my window was down, I stuck my hand out and gave her a good, solid, no-nonsense bird. I saw her look over and see me, see the bird, and look confused.

That’s the thing – driving a car (especially a car as massive and dangerous as the modern American FUV) requires a degree of skill. Assuming that you think you have the freedumb to do whatever you want, to drive wherever you want without bothering to signal or slow for cyclists and pedestrians, to think that you literally own the road and nobody else matters, that shows a degree of hubris that boarders on criminal.

And that’s why I signaled her, even when she hadn’t signaled me. I communicated.

Some people