Holly Henry: Honk if you’re feeling impatientMaybe it’s just me, but I am noticing that people aren’t as nice as they used to be.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
Maybe it’s just me, but I am noticing that people aren’t as nice as they used to be.
Perhaps it’s the recession. You know, we’re all a little grumpy because we’ve either a.) Lost our job; b.) Live in fear we are going to lose our job or; c.) Didn’t lose our job and now have to do the jobs of all the folks who did lose their jobs. Maybe we are tired of living with less, or just plain tired.
But it seems like we, as a society, are not as tolerant and cheerful as we used to be.
Take for instance our inability to wait—be it in line, for our turn, or to get what we think we have coming to us.
The other day I was getting gas and I just happened to be driving a new car. OK, not a new car, but a new-to-me car. Come to find out this particular car locks itself after 15 seconds of inactivity. It does this, believe it or not, even if the keys are in the ignition and the driver is out pumping gas admiring their beautiful new ride.
So there I was, standing at the gas pump thinking I looked really cute with my new car and I heard a click. I attempted not to look panicked (something my family doesn’t do very well) and returned to the driver’s door.
Thankfully, the window was down a couple of inches so one could stuck their arm through and hit the unlock button. Turns out this tells the car that someone is trying to steal it. The alarm was disarmed with a combination of button poking, key removal and the utterance of some inappropriate terms.
I then put the key back in the ignition and turned it. Nothing. Nadda. Dead-O.
It was about then that people started honking at me. No kidding. Two feet behind my car a guy in a big truck with a “Get ’er done” bug screen honked at me. There was no “Hey are you stalled? Is there anything I can do to help you?” Nope. Just honking.
I sat in the car perusing the owner’s manual. Airbags, check. Gauges check. Air pressure, check. Directions as long as “The Winds of War” on how to operate the stereo system, check. Nothing, however, on car alarms. The manual, in fact, didn’t even acknowledge that the car had an alarm.
So I sat pretending to wait for my imaginary friend who was in the gas station buying her Pepsi and Snickers bar to return to the car. I pretended to talk on the phone and contemplated actually calling Ford Motor Company to ask them what they were thinking.
Someone came over to suggest I park somewhere else.
More honking. At this point, had it not been for my skirt and impractical shoes I would have gotten out of my dead car and kicked Bubba’s butt.
Finally I called a colleague’s husband, who is a mechanic. Our exchange would have made a really good OnStar commercial.
I frantically told him my story and he calmly walked me through how to undo the damage.
“OK, now take the keys out of the ignition and get out of the car,” he instructed.
“Now place the key in the door and turn it to the left.”
“Now is the door locked?”
“Now pull the key out.”
“Now unlock the door with the clicker, get back in the car and try to start it.”
Magically, the car started. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I gushed. “You saved my life!”
The guy in the truck honked again and threw his arms in the air.
Go ahead and get your gas Bubba. And here’s hoping we meet again when I’m wearing practical shoes . . .