Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Road Retorts Revisited

Last August, I wrote this post analyzing the intensities of different kinds of road retorts. I introduced the subject by using this picture, explaining how I wish that my car could do this, because it would make me feel a lot better when I do something stupid on the road…

[You'll see later in this post that my car-drawing skills have not improved much since August.]

According to my Popular Post Counter, Three Levels of Road Retorts is my most popular post. Must be, because someone may have seen it. In October, two months after I posted, I noticed that one of my favorite bloggers of all time, The Oatmeal, posted a comic called This is What My Car Needs, and included this picture…

Shockingly similar, right? The red letters, the message...Same, same.

This is how starved for attention and recognition I am, though: I don’t care if he took my idea, which is very unlikely anyway. What I’m interested in is that there is a teeny-weenie, itsy-bitsy, miniscule chance that The Oatmeal, who has millions of readers, maybe perhaps kinda glanced at my humble little 34-follower blog and said, “Hey, that’s funny. I could use this. And nobody knows what the hell Popcorn Day is, so I’m fine.” Slim chance, but what if, right?

Anyway. Mr. Oatmeal, if you’re (impossibly) reading this, you’re off the hook this time because I’m too enamored by your fame.

And while we’re kind of on the subject of road retorts, I’d like to add one to the list. This would go between “The Bird” and “The Snarl.”

1½. The Honk.

So overused that I actually forgot it the first time, The Honk is one of the most passive-aggressive of the Road Retorts. The car horn was initially meant to be used as a warning to people and cars that one’s vehicle was approaching. It has now been entirely stripped of that meaning. Even if the horn is actually used as a warning, it usually ends up like this…

[Cars just aren't my area of expertise, I guess.]

But this is not necessarily what I’m talking about. The Honk is actually when the horn is used slightly after someone has done something stupid, like cut them off or change lanes without signaling. And this is how it turns out…

[Ladies and gentlemen, back by popular demand, it's...MAN DRIVING WITH A BLUE HAT ON!]

And then the original offender’s heart starts beating flusteredly because he thinks that honk was a warning of some dangerous approaching vehicle. When he realizes it was merely a “F*** YOU,” he then becomes just as upset as the other guy, and has the choice of three other types of road retorts. Cue this song...

[Or maybe just the chorus...it's supposed to kind of be about an endless cycle, but maybe this song wasn't a good choice. "The Circle of Life," maybe? Who cares.]


  1. Hahaha this is great! I bet the Oatmeal did stumble across your blog--too similar for it to be false.

    Too bad he didn't scroll all the way to the bottom or else he may have felt more guilty!

    A little uncertain about your song choice, but it is a funny video.

  2. Oatmeal Schmoatmeal! I bet he/she DID copy it from your post! :-)

    Wow....the hair in that video! It's a whippy dip on mega steroids. And OH the dance moves...kind of makes Dancing Brian look meek and mild!

  3. I must say, you've been very lucky on the road if these are the only ways people have responded to being cut off. I know people who when cut off will speed to get around the other person(normally while honking and flipping the bird), cut them off, and basically slam on the breaks once in front of the "wrong-doer". I'm thinking these people have some major road rage issues. So lucky, lucky you if you've never encountered this.

  4. This is very suspicious....you should sue for the rights to your humor.

  5. Dad here. My fav is still the long glance as I pass the offender after they did something stupid/unsafe. I don't flip the bird.

    My fear is that while I'm giving the boy-are-you-an-idiot glance I'll plow into the back of the car ahead!

    *WARNING* if you choose to deploy the powerful idiot glance, check the road ahead first.

    Don't underestimate the glance. It's powerful.