Please use your blinker. Thanks

It’s all about common courtesy

I’m not going to rant about music or photography. If I started ranting about either of those subjects, it would take up volumes and volumes of this paper. So, you can tell what kind of year I had. It wasn’t all that bad. I mean it got a little frustrating having the ball dropped at times. But hey, I got to photograph everyone from Marilyn Manson to Gary Busey to U2. But we’ll save those stories for another time. This year, it’s all about manners and the highway. I know, I know, it’s been done. But lately, traffic courtesy—now, that’s an oxymoron—has been bugging the shit out of me. And lack of plain simple courtesy is getting on my nerves.

Let’s start on the road. OK, people, how hard is it to use a turn signal? I know that we are all busy people. In our daily lives, we scurry around like drunk, hungry rats chasing the cheese—whatever the “cheese” may be. Modern life has its demands on us, our jobs, families, significant others, deadlines, etc. But we also have a responsibility to other drivers. How many times have you sat at an intersection and waited and wondered what the hell the person coming down the road is going to do. Is she gonna turn? Is he gonna go forward? It’s a freaking guessing game—"blinker blackjack"—guessing what the dealer/driver has as a hole card. But in this game, it’s not all about money; it’s about life and limbs. Does anyone want to take a gamble on that? In this game, it’s not about losing $5 or $10 if you bust. It’s about a trip to the emergency room, and it’s not an all-expense paid trip either.

I have watched time and time again people do that “three-laner” maneuver across Highway 395 with not a care in the world, chasing their own personal “cheese.” I recently witnessed a horrific accident downtown, and it was obvious that somebody wasn’t being real courteous to the other driver. A family got really hurt in that mess, but go figure: the discourteous driver walked away from the accident. His car got banged up pretty bad, and I’m thinking that he is walking for his “cheese” nowadays. And I hope that the family is able to walk.

It comes down to common sense. If you drive, be courteous to one another, use that blinker. Maybe it’ll help you score some karma points. If you’re on a diet, that extra effort of lifting the turn signal can burn off an extra calorie or two.

Another thing: What has happened to “pleases"and “thank yous"? I often stand in line at a store or listen to people in a restaurant and say “I want” and “I need” with no “please” or “thank you” attached. Have manners gone out the window? When somebody says to me “please” or “thank you,” I remember that and go out of my way to help him.

It just takes a little bit of effort on someone’s part to say thanks and use a blinker. Good manners and courtesy cost nothing. Let’s save the “guessing game” for the 21 table. And if you win, I’m sure a “thank you” would be appreciated.

David Robert is the RN&R’s photo editor.

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