Stop It! Stop Waving!
I like driving. I drive my car all over the place – on open highways, on country lanes and on treacherous suburban avenues. Most of the time, the people with whom I share the road show me the appropriate level of courtesy, and I give them the same.
There are certain unspoken rules that we all abide by. Here’s a short checklist for those of you playing at home:
. If I wait for you to pass, wave to me
. If I let you into traffic, wave to me
. If I honk you because you fell asleep at the lights, wave to me
. If I don’t run you over when you dart out in front of my car, wave to me
The wave is an integral part of how Australians drive without crashing into each other. I love to wave. It’s more important than zebra crossings, traffic lights and give way signs. It’s like giving the other driver a big hug and telling him that you like his shirt. I even wave back to people who wave to me; that’s how much I like it.
But here’s the thing about driving and waving. If you cut me off because you know I’m a good driver and I won’t crash into you, waving doesn’t make it okay. If you drive through a stop sign in your Subaru because you were texting your homies, waving doesn’t make it okay. If you nearly run the lollipop lady over because you were changing the song on your iPod, waving doesn’t make it okay.
Stop trying to make up for your bad driving by waving! You’re misusing the wave! Stop it.
What you need is an Apology Stick. By holding up your Apology Stick instead of waving, other drivers will be more sympathetic to your mistake. They will understand that you were momentarily bad at driving, but instead of trying to get away with it, you acknowledge that you did the wrong thing. They will appreciate your honesty and implied promise to try harder next time.
How to make an Apology Stick
Luckily for you, I’ve included some instructions for making your own Apology Stick. All you need is a piece of heavy cardboard, a Posca pen (not pink, it’s hard to see at a distance), duct tape and a stick. If I ever found myself in need of an Apology Stick, I would probably use an old broom handle or maybe part of a rocking chair.
Tape the cardboard to the stick, then write your apology on it. Use uppercase letters – if you write in cursive, you will cause even more accidents as people drive towards you to try to read it. Make sure your apology is applicable to all scenarios; alternatively, create more than one Apology Stick.
Suggested wording for your Apology Stick:
. Oh dear, I have inconvenienced you with my vehicle!
. I’m sorry, I briefly forgot all road rules!
. To be honest, I wasn’t concentrating as much as I probably should have been!
. Whoops, that was daft!
But be careful. If you crash into someone because you’re too busy holding up your Apology Stick, you’re on your own.