Your Honking Has Shown Me The Error Of My WaysCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 37•37 • Oct 17, 2001 By Dave Nestor Dave Nestor I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, believe you me. But when I do, I try to be man enough to admit it. So, I confess: I really screwed up just now when I hesitated for a split second when the light turned green. I only hope the good Lord and you, the driver of the car behind me, will forgive me. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I can't believe how insensitive I was. I mean, I consider myself a pretty do-unto-others kind of guy, especially when behind the wheel. Sure, there are times when I get a little careless, especially when I'm thinking about something. That's what happened when you so helpfully honked at me. I was on my way home from work and had all sorts of stuff on my mind. I won't bore you with the gory details—just let's say it's about the big fight I'd just had with my wife regarding our daughter Ashley's upcoming surgery. Anyway, I was sitting at the intersection, trying to figure some things out, when, all of a sudden, the light changed. (Hey, I'm not making excuses. There is no excuse for not hitting the gas the moment a light turns green.) Out of nowhere, I hear this honking. Now, this wasn't a concerned, friendly, "Hey, I'm here, let's move it along" honk. This was one loud, long blast of the horn. This honk said, "Hey, you fucker, just who the fuck do you fucking think you are, anyway?" Only louder. Then, you followed it up with two shorter honks, as if to say "fuck" and "you!" That was the capper. At first, unaware of my sluggishness off the line, I was confused as to why you were honking at me so vigorously. What could I have done to upset you so much? I thought it might be my back-window sticker. I had one that said "University of Michigan Alumni Association." That was it, I thought: You went to Michigan State or Notre Dame. But then I realized that, no, that sticker was on my last car, not this one. Then I thought you might be a Chevy driver. I drive a Ford, and Chevy drivers tend to hate Fords. But, no, you're a BMW man, so that clearly wasn't the issue. Then, I finally realized the problem: I did not move quickly enough when the light changed! I did not act with the speed and instinct of the cheetah, potentially delaying you from making your appointed rounds. How could I have been so inconsiderate? I know what it's like to be behind someone sitting at an intersection for almost an eighth of a second. It's like they're saying to you, "I am number one, and you are behind me! I will take my own sweet time getting to my destination because I care not a whit for anyone but myself!" How selfish I was! Oh, if only I could do it all over again. Instead of taking my own sweet time, I would crane my neck to see exactly when the opposite light turned from green to yellow. Then, the moment it turned red, I would count, "One one-thousand... Two one-thousand," and then slam on the gas, peeling off exactly as my light turned green. That would have been the decent thing to do. I'm sure you must be a doctor, and I prevented you from saving someone's life. Or maybe you're a dentist, and you had to do an emergency root canal on the prime minister of Japan. Or maybe you were in danger of missing the series premiere of The Agency. I shouldn't question your motives. All I really need to know is that wherever you were headed, you arrived .000000013 seconds later because of me. In the end, all I can say is, "Thank you." I have truly learned my lesson. And because of my misdeed, I have decided that I cannot be trusted behind the wheel anymore. From now on, I will only walk. That's right, I am selling my car so that no one will ever risk suffering the terrible fate you did. I can only trust that this act of contrition will let me get by in life with less guilt. Please, forgive me. Please?