There is a growing trend in the United States that is exceedingly dangerous and just plain annoying. While it causes arguments, miscommunication, dangerous situations and extreme indecision, the remedy is simple. The solution involves just one finger. It is effortless and convenient.
It is a movement.
It is a minor physical task.
It is a gesture that makes us civilized, safe and organized.
Before the big reveal, let me just say that I still stand by the sentiment that Waxahachie, Texas is the nicest city in Texas. I love this town. And so it was all the greater the shock when I got a gesture of another kind.
While exiting Highway 287 S, taking the Brown Street exit, it happened. My daughter said, “I think that guy just gave you the finger.” I said, “Don’t be ridiculous. This is Waxahachie! I’m sure he was just waving. That’s how they wave around here.”
The man was very passionate about his waving and so I waved back.
For those familiar with this particular exit from the highway, it is an interesting set-up. For traffic coming off the highway at 60 mph or more, it should be an easy access on to the frontage road thereby dictating that those on the frontage road yield to the off-ramp coming vehicles.
As newcomers to the area, we just thought residents of Waxahachie on the frontage road were merely welcoming weary travelers in from the highway.
Come on in! [Gesture! Gesture!]
Welcome to the Brown Street exit! [More passionate gestures.]
But as I legally and rightfully made my way off the ramp and on to the frontage road toward Brown Street on this particular day, it all became so clear. While explaining to my child that finger waving was just the Waxahachie way, she said, “There isn’t a yield sign there.”
This is relevant to the “how using a finger can save the world” suggestion because even with the best of intentions, we must have law and order. There really needs to be a yield sign at that intersection, people! Drivers on the frontage road should, in theory, understand that they must yield but I am here to tell you there are a whole lot of finger-waving folks who do not. Note to city of Waxahachie: Invest in a sign at the intersection and save lives.
So, what is the gesture? What is the task so simple that it can restore order and manners and kindness and understanding so that we may remain the nicest city in Texas? Your signal indicator.
Yes, that stick-like mechanism that juts out from the steering carriage in your car. That is not a ponytail elastic band holder. It is not decorative key chain holder. It is a device the signals to everyone around you that your intention is to change lanes, to merge over, to make a bold two-ton metal on potential metal move at great speeds. Just think if it were used for good. Imagine if you were sitting at an intersection waiting to pull out and the oncoming car actually blinked thus allowing you to know what its intentions were. You could know if it were safe to pull out or when you could pull out. You could know if a person was going to slow and then turn, even park. Road rage incidents would drastically reduce, communication among drivers could be restored, good manners could become commonplace and, at last, full hand waves would replace the little finger as peace and harmony befalls the streets of this fine city.
Seriously. Use your signal indicator. The car manufacturer put it there for a reason.
Now residing in “the nicest city in Texas,” Alexandra Allred is the author of numerous books, including White Trash, Damaged Goods and the Allie Lindell series. Visit her website, www.alexandratheauthor, or Twitter @alexandraallred but always check out her column the WDL as she ponders all things Waxahachie and beyond its borders.