Let’s begin with the horn, one of the most wonderful, satisfying devices ever invented.
The first rule of the horn is that when you find yourself at a red light and there is at least one car in front of you, place the palm of your hand on the horn and get ready to honk. Don’t wait for the light to turn green. As soon as the light is red and yellow, begin to honk – if you wait until the light is green you may lose the opportunity.
Then there’s the crosswalk. No, don’t honk at a pedestrian, unless of course you think he is crossing too slowly. The time to honk is when there is at least one car ahead of you stopped at the crosswalk. What’s he stopping for? I mean really, what are the chances he is stopping to let someone cross? And anyway, the whole point of honking is that satisfying feeling you get when you honk away.
Another opportunity to honk as loud as you can for whatever reason is at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. No one should be sleeping at such an hour anyway. Oh, and by the way, honking, except to prevent an accident, is actually illegal, but I dare a policeman to try to give someone a ticket for honking.
Let’s move on to an often-neglected topic, the parking garage. Most important here is that when you enter a parking garage, drive at the same speed as you would on a highway. Just speed through the garage until you find a good space in which to park. No worries, everyone else will look out for you.
Merging is a true battlefield, where the objective is just to win. We all know that when two or three lanes are merging into one, you simply have to fight it out, inch by inch, nosing your way in, closing in on the goal. Getting there first. Of course, if getting to your destination faster were your objective, then the efficient thing to do is to move forward one car at a time, first, second, third, first, second, third. It’s been tested – takes much less time to merge, but the challenge is gone, the fight, the adrenalin, the victory.
The superhighway is next, any superhighway will do. When you are in the fast lane and the person in front of you is only driving 10 kilometers an hour faster than the speed limit, step No. 1 is to tailgate.
Tailgating not working? Is the car in front of you driving defensively knowing that the safest way to deal with a tailgater is to slow down? You can blink your light if you want, but you might as well skip that and honk.
In the event that doesn’t work, try to pass on the right or swerve in and out among the lanes until you are finally in front of that annoyingly slow driver.
Now comes revenge. Sweet revenge.
Slow down to a crawl and then speed up, slow, fast, slow, fast, until your victim is thoroughly chastised. I mean after all, the point of speeding isn’t really to beat Waze by a minute or two, it’s just the joy of speeding, the death-defying thrill. Or not so death-defying.
Moving on to passing. If it should ever happen that for some reason you are going slow and someone dares try to pass you, just speed up. Do not ever let someone pass you. And once you have prevented him from passing, you can go back to your slow leisurely speed.
Another skill you have to learn is passing on a road that curves. No, don’t cross the solid line – or, well, I guess sometimes you can. But when it is a broken line, that’s like a green light. Just go for it. Someone might be coming from the other direction? Surely, he will get out of the way in time. Or not.
There are so many more rules, but let’s talk about skill, expertise, dexterity. With a moderate amount of dexterity, you ought to be able to shave and drive at the same time, but the real test of your driving prowess is texting with one hand and shaving with the other. Because if you can’t steer with your elbow, then you must not be a very skilled driver.
A good place to end is the matter of peeing. This rule is primarily for men. Really, who needs a gas station where you have to park, walk a bit, go into the restroom, finish your business, wash your hands, or not, and then back to the car. Just stop on the side of the road, get out of the car, unzip and feel right at home. ■
The author is head of planning at the Mandel Foundation, Vice President of Atid EDI and has a masters in Urban and Regional Planning.