Beep Beep

A car horn is for two things: 1. To indicate peril, threat to life, impending death.  In this instance the horn should be used in a sharp, short burst to alert adjacent vehicle(s) to the possibility of a horrible accident about to unfurl. 2. It’s a rural town in Ireland and the local publican’s daughter has just been wed to the son of the farmer from the next town.  You’re part of the procession of cars making your way from the church along the Main Street to the Central Hotel for a knees-up and you join the obligatory cacophony of car horns in congratulatory toots for the length of the short journey, children dangling dangerously from windows.  That’s pretty much it.  Other than those two occasions, I implore you: remove your hand from the horn, glue it to the wheel and breathe. For the only thing we do when we apply injudicious use of the car horn is to elevate our blood pressure, fray our patience and make everything worse.

I think Edinburgh might be low down the charts of beepy-cities (a technical term) and I have a theory that the further south one travels the loser the approach to sounding ones horn.  Not that people are any ruder down there (ahem), but the roads are certainly busier and perhaps bad habits have crept in.  M., who lives in the south of England is collecting beeps.  Last week she added to her collection when she driving behind a car in a narrow street and it pulled in to let an approaching bin lorry pass. A few cars built up in a queue behind. The lorry edged its way through, centimetres to spare between it and cars parked by the kerb.  A little way behind, a cyclist was approaching so the car in front stayed put to let the cyclist safely through.  M. said this added around eight seconds to her wait in which time the cars behind her, in a fit of collective madness, had begun to honk like geese who’d had their eggs stolen.

When I was young my dad taught me the Beep Beep song – we sang it on car journeys.  It starts off slow and gets faster and faster, in time with the frenetic beeping of the chorus.  I loved it then and I love it still, and anytime I feel myself getting riled by carless horn usage, I sing it to cheer myself up.

Remember: Save your beeps for impending danger or for the joy of a wedding.  Nothing else; not even if you are stuck in second gear.

The Beep Beep Song (by The Playmates)

While riding in my Cadillac, what, to my surprise,

A little Nash Rambler was following me, about one-third my size.

The guy must have wanted it to pass me up

As he kept on tooting his horn. Beep! Beep!

I’ll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Beep, beep

Beep, beep

His horn went, beep, beep, beep. (Beep! Beep!).

I pushed my foot down to the floor to give the guy the shake,

But the little Nash Rambler stayed right behind; he still had on his brake.

He must have thought his car had more guts

As he kept on tooting his horn.

I’ll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Beep, beep.

Beep, beep.

His horn went, beep, beep, beep.

My car went into passing gear and we took off with dust.

And soon we were doin’ ninety, must have left him in the dust.

When I peeked in the mirror of my car,

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The little Nash Rambler was right behind, you’d think that guy could fly.

Beep, beep

Beep, beep

His horn went, beep, beep, beep.

Now we’re doing a hundred and ten, it certainly was a race.

For a Rambler to pass a Caddy would be a big disgrace.

For the guy who wanted to pass me,

He kept on tooting his horn. Beep! Beep!

I’ll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn.

Beep, beep.

Beep, beep.

His horn went, beep, beep, beep.

Now we’re doing a hundred and twenty, as fast as I could go.

The Rambler pulled alongside of me as if I were going slow.

The fellow rolled down his window and yelled for me to hear,

Hey, buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear?

One thought on “Beep Beep

  1. I experience lots of motorists often giving me friendly beeps, sometimes when I see their faces they seem quite upset so it cheers me that I have given them cause to have a friendly interaction and cheer their day.

    Like

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