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the rant

Yungshu Chao/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I'm looking for a warning label for the back of my car.

Something like: "Warning: I'm a mild-manned guy, but long honks of the horn drive me crazy."

At the gas station this week, the car behind me gave me a three-second honk to tell me to move forward to the next pump. I could have rolled my window down and told him, with a smile, that I hadn't moved ahead because the next pump wasn't working. Maybe we could have become friends.

Instead, I turned into Lou Ferrigno. I backed into him, causing a huge gas station explosion. Okay, that was in my head.

But I'm not proud of what I really did – I slammed on my own horn.

The guy honked back, cursed me through his open window and sped off. I hope he didn't run out of gas.

The vehicular screaming match would have, rightfully, landed both of us a ticket in some places.

Horns are necessary. They're there to say "Watch it!" or "Don't hit my car!" Without them, many of us might not know who won the World Cup until we watched the news.

And, a quick tap or two of the horn from the truck behind me when I'm struggling to turn off the seat warmer on a summer's day and haven't noticed the light has just turned green?

I might blush a little, but I appreciate the reminder. It's like saying, "Excuse me, mister."

If that same truck gives me a long honk of horn?

Unless I've been napping at that light for 10 minutes, I'll probably find that long honk unfair, even if I understand the driver's probably late for work or a much-needed calming yoga class.

I wish I had thicker skin. But I get angry. And since the horn is right there, I honk back.

And then, further down the road, I honk at a pedestrian crossing at a red light. I might tell myself that I'm concerned about the jaywalker's safety. However, I'm really just a grumpy jerk who wants to yell, "Get off the road!" at somebody.

A long honk of the horn only lasts a couple of seconds, but it's worth a thousand words – and every one of those words starts with an F.