by Bob Sparrow
No, not a remake of the Harry Styles hit, ‘Sign of the Times’, and, no, I’m not going to pontificate on how times have changed, how we’ve become so polarized or why people don’t want to go to work anymore. This is much more important than all of that. As you regular readers know, and even those who aren’t regular (Sorry, they have medication for that), I mostly like writing about travel, and struggle with blog topics when I’m not preparing for a trip or on one. With Covid and unrest in various parts of the world, my travel has been a bit restricted. Oh yeah, I still work, so sometimes that gets in the way too. Given the environment we are currently in, I look to find travel stories wherever I can. This one takes place less than a mile from my home – so technically it’s a ‘travel story’.
I’m driving my car and I do something that I don’t normally do, something we’ve all done, but try to avoid; I cut off a person as I was making a turn. It was a two-lane, right turn and I was in the right-most lane and as I turned, I didn’t see the car to my left, also making a right turn, and I drifted into his lane and cut him off. He saw me, honked, swerved and sped by me, as I’m sure he was thinking he wanted to get as far away as possible from this idiot.
As he drove by and gave me that ‘Where’d you get your license, K-Mart?’ look, I wanted to apologize and tell him that I was genuinely sorry; while I knew I couldn’t speak to him, I wondered if there was some gesture I could make that would convey an apology.
Several gestures came to mind:
- A wave and smile – It kind of says, “Hi, not sure who you are, thanks for letting me borrow your lane for a while. Have a nice day. I’m an idiot!”
2. Thumbs up – this sort of acknowledges that you understand what happen, but a thumbs up is a ‘positive’ gesture’, so you’re really saying, “Pretty cool that I cut you off, huh? I’m OK!”
3. Peace sign – This really says ‘peace’, don’t kick my ass, ‘you lived, I lived, it’s all good, brother’
4. Hang loose sign – this says, ‘Don’t sweat it man, this happens all the time, just relax and accept it – chill.’
5. I even thought about saying I’m sorry in sign language, which is a fist rubbing circularly on your chest over your heart. Aside from the fact that he couldn’t see that, the odds are he wouldn’t have understood what it meant anyway.
He sped away pissed off, and I continued on my journey, frustrated, a bit more cognizant of the boundaries of my lane, and wondering if there was a hand signal that says ‘I’m sorry’.
I Googled it. No such animal. So, I saw this as an opportunity to invent one. It’s got to be a hand gesture, something easy to do and visible to a passing car. It’s got to be the opposite of the middle finger or the shaking fist. I’ve got it! Open the hand up and spread the fingers. The open hand is the opposite of the fist and all five fingers is not the single middle finger. The five fingers could stand for five words, like:
1. I’m the one to blame
2. Sorry I cut you off
3. My mistake, I’m so sorry
4. Thank you for being alert
5. Please accept my sincere apology
Now it will be up to you as one of our readers to get the word, or the hand, out. This could be a movement and you could say you were on the ground floor.
OK, I’m traveling this week, we’ll see if my travels are blog-worthy, although this one probably lowered the blog bar!