signal, motherfucker!

I’ve a new biggest pet peeve, replacing my old biggest pet peeve, which were umbrellas carried by short people (the whole pointy-thing-in-the-eye thing): drivers who don’t signal when turning. Drivers who don’t signal when changing lanes is bad too, but nowhere near as bad as drivers who simply haven’t discovered their turning signals.

Let’s say that you’re driving along Burrard, at 4:00 pm. Let’s say you want to turn left into the Wall centre. Would it be too much for you to let the hundred or so people behind you know that you’re going to do this? Or when driving through the West End, and navigating through the roundabouts, why not signal when you want to turn. If you signal, I won’t proceed straight, I’ll kindly let you turn, then continue on my way. Of course, if you’re a real asshole, you’ll honk at me when I haven’t successfully read your mind, and I cut you off by continuing on my merry way.

Sometimes I feel like taking note of every license number of a driver that doesn’t signal and calling the police. I don’t know if there’s any fine involved with that (lack of) act, but there should be. When I’m feeling more agro (particularly when I’m a pedestrian), I feel like keying their car. When more mischevious, I wish I could install a paintball gun in my car, and shoot whoever doesn’t signal. My favourite revenge fantasy though involves a cartoon ACME-brand sledgehammer that fits in my pocket but is large enough to squash a car flat with one hit. The driver would then of course emerge, dazed and spinny, perhaps with little blue birds chirping, but the ideal would be little angels with sledgehammers continuing to abuse them.

Growing up in Toronto, back in the day of the yellow cop cars, they had this mascot car: an alligator-car, I think, that would come and teach the kids road safety. It would also give helpful tips to the parents that came with the kids, that included such basics as ‘remember to signal when turning so that little boys and girls know what you’re going to do’ (I paraphrase of course — I’ve no idea what this alligator (or even if it was an alligator — it was definitely some kind of animated car, and I think there was something animal about it too)).

So please, pretty please, signal when you turn. There’s not one valid excuse I can think of to not signal, and it’s not like it’s hard to do.

24 Replies to “signal, motherfucker!”

  1. Ah, the lost art of signalling.

    The umbrella thing is also a big deal for me.

    I would be hard pressed to decide which one bugs me more, although the signalling thing is certainly more likely to cause death (but less eyes poked out).

    Many of you have heard this from me before, but I would love everything that is supposedly good for you but really just big and useless (and harmful to others) to be labelled “Sports Utility”.

    Big dumb umbrellas will supposedly keep you dryer, but I’ve noticed that from the waist down you pretty much have to be in a bubble to be protected, so the only thing you’re doing is annoying other people. These are sports utility umbrellas (SUU’s).

    Other sports utility items:

    Sports Utility Dogs (many Yaletown people have theses SUD’s – tiny apartments and huge outdoorsy dogs that leave huge yucky loads on concrete)

    Sports Utility Lattes (again with the Yaletown people – there’s a theme – these Venti extra-hot 5 shot espresso drinks that you know they aren’t drinking all of and take 20 minutes to make)

    Sports Utility Boyfriends (the concept of the SUB is not very PC, but in general it’s the idea of getting a big outdoorsy boyfriend with a big chin and a stern brow who is popular and rich – again, supposedly good for you but I really wonder… – most of them live in Yaletown by the way)

    Here are some other canditates, without explanation. I challenge readers to submit their own faves. Just remember the basic critera – big, supposedly good for you or cool but not really, and harmful or annoying to others – bonus if it uses up lots of resources to use)

    Sports Utility Vacations
    Sports Utility Movies
    Sports Utility Websites
    Sports Utility Children
    Sports Utility Vocabulary

  2. Ah, the lost art of signalling.

    The umbrella thing is also a big deal for me.

    I would be hard pressed to decide which one bugs me more, although the signalling thing is certainly more likely to cause death (but less eyes poked out).

    Many of you have heard this from me before, but I would love everything that is supposedly good for you but really just big and useless (and harmful to others) to be labelled “Sports Utility”.

    Big dumb umbrellas will supposedly keep you dryer, but I’ve noticed that from the waist down you pretty much have to be in a bubble to be protected, so the only thing you’re doing is annoying other people. These are sports utility umbrellas (SUU’s).

    Other sports utility items:

    Sports Utility Dogs (many Yaletown people have theses SUD’s – tiny apartments and huge outdoorsy dogs that leave huge yucky loads on concrete)

    Sports Utility Lattes (again with the Yaletown people – there’s a theme – these Venti extra-hot 5 shot espresso drinks that you know they aren’t drinking all of and take 20 minutes to make)

    Sports Utility Boyfriends (the concept of the SUB is not very PC, but in general it’s the idea of getting a big outdoorsy boyfriend with a big chin and a stern brow who is popular and rich – again, supposedly good for you but I really wonder… – most of them live in Yaletown by the way)

    Here are some other canditates, without explanation. I challenge readers to submit their own faves. Just remember the basic critera – big, supposedly good for you or cool but not really, and harmful or annoying to others – bonus if it uses up lots of resources to use)

    Sports Utility Vacations
    Sports Utility Movies
    Sports Utility Websites
    Sports Utility Children
    Sports Utility Vocabulary

  3. Hear hear Steve, this is dangerous, careless, and unnecessary. I’ve noticed that if I’ve been in a car with a non-signaller, the reason given is generally borne out of apathy and/or pure laziness. A pathetic, “why booooooother, I’m just going to have to do it agaaaaaaain at the next turn, jeez.” (note: my sister used to use that excuse as to why she didn’t gear down when slowing her car….with our dad being our mechanic, needless to say, she has only been allowed to buy automatic transmission vehicles since then, hee hee)

    and on Day’s opener, I’ve gone blank except that having grown up in (shhhh) Surrey, I know there was a LOT of Sports Utility Hair going on. Oh, and though I don’t know about it being good for you, but I’ve noticed a rise in Sports Utility Breast Implants.

  4. Hear hear Steve, this is dangerous, careless, and unnecessary. I’ve noticed that if I’ve been in a car with a non-signaller, the reason given is generally borne out of apathy and/or pure laziness. A pathetic, “why booooooother, I’m just going to have to do it agaaaaaaain at the next turn, jeez.” (note: my sister used to use that excuse as to why she didn’t gear down when slowing her car….with our dad being our mechanic, needless to say, she has only been allowed to buy automatic transmission vehicles since then, hee hee)

    and on Day’s opener, I’ve gone blank except that having grown up in (shhhh) Surrey, I know there was a LOT of Sports Utility Hair going on. Oh, and though I don’t know about it being good for you, but I’ve noticed a rise in Sports Utility Breast Implants.

  5. Nice entries, Jocelyn!

    On the “I’m only going to have to do it again…” front, these are the same people who don’t do the dishes, make their bed or wash their hair, aren’t they?!

  6. Nice entries, Jocelyn!

    On the “I’m only going to have to do it again…” front, these are the same people who don’t do the dishes, make their bed or wash their hair, aren’t they?!

  7. Here in Taiwan, my pet peeve would probably be scooters driving on the wrong side of the road, not bothering to turn on their headlights at night.

    It’s a pretty frequent thing to see scooters driving on the wrong side of the road here, so you come to expect it, and even begin doing it yourself on occassion. A lot of scooters either forget or are too lazy to turn on their headlights at night. You get used to it. But when you combine these two reckless acts, it really freaks me out.

    Hope that provides some perspective.

  8. Here in Taiwan, my pet peeve would probably be scooters driving on the wrong side of the road, not bothering to turn on their headlights at night.

    It’s a pretty frequent thing to see scooters driving on the wrong side of the road here, so you come to expect it, and even begin doing it yourself on occassion. A lot of scooters either forget or are too lazy to turn on their headlights at night. You get used to it. But when you combine these two reckless acts, it really freaks me out.

    Hope that provides some perspective.

  9. You certainly aren’t alone there Steve. I and others like me have been aware of these people that signal-using-only-their-brain-power for a long time. While they are annoying and somewhat dangerous, they don’t hold a candle to those tricky signal-left-turn-right people who only drive in the centre lane, making that right turn an extreme hazard. While it is a ticketable offence to not use your signal when turning or changing lanes, it’s rare that police do anything about it. I think that all we can do is if we happen to be able to see where these non-signallers park after committing the crime, go over and let the air out of one or more of their tires. It doesn’t leave a mark or otherwise depreciate the value of the car, and can be done relatively quickly and made to look like you’re just bent down tying up your shoelaces. One other note; it’s illegal to make a turn across a solid yellow line “if it impedes traffic in either direction”, which from the sounds of your rant it’s what that person was doing when trying to turn into the Wall Centre on Burrard because their driveway is in the middle of the block.

    On the SU* side of things, how about Sports Utility Clothing. The main thing I’m talkin’ about are those huge Michelin Man jackets that double or triple a persons girth. What, -1 in winter is too cold for a sweater and a regular jacket? I just want to walk around with my darts all the time and “pop” them balloons. They look stupid and the people wearing them don’t the extra space they take up into account when walking down the sidewalk or getting on the bus. Also in this category are those raver pants that are bigger at the ankle than they are at the waist.

  10. You certainly aren’t alone there Steve. I and others like me have been aware of these people that signal-using-only-their-brain-power for a long time. While they are annoying and somewhat dangerous, they don’t hold a candle to those tricky signal-left-turn-right people who only drive in the centre lane, making that right turn an extreme hazard. While it is a ticketable offence to not use your signal when turning or changing lanes, it’s rare that police do anything about it. I think that all we can do is if we happen to be able to see where these non-signallers park after committing the crime, go over and let the air out of one or more of their tires. It doesn’t leave a mark or otherwise depreciate the value of the car, and can be done relatively quickly and made to look like you’re just bent down tying up your shoelaces. One other note; it’s illegal to make a turn across a solid yellow line “if it impedes traffic in either direction”, which from the sounds of your rant it’s what that person was doing when trying to turn into the Wall Centre on Burrard because their driveway is in the middle of the block.

    On the SU* side of things, how about Sports Utility Clothing. The main thing I’m talkin’ about are those huge Michelin Man jackets that double or triple a persons girth. What, -1 in winter is too cold for a sweater and a regular jacket? I just want to walk around with my darts all the time and “pop” them balloons. They look stupid and the people wearing them don’t the extra space they take up into account when walking down the sidewalk or getting on the bus. Also in this category are those raver pants that are bigger at the ankle than they are at the waist.

  11. ooh, Noah, Leah and I might have to take issue with your last one – the Sports Utility Raver Pant…as those are the favored pant type (and the ones we spend our free time creating!!)The vast majority of my pants are larger at the ankle than the waist. It’s a…a..dancing thing. Yeah.

    Also a surrey thing- Sports Utility Motorcycles…both the Hell’s Angels population with the noisy-ass Harleys and the strange Honda Goldwing Club (seriously!! this exists!) go by the “bigger is better” motto. I swear some of those Goldwings were larger than my Chevette. I TOTALLY agree with the Sports Utility Puffycoats. They’re pretty humorous. I know, since my dad is an occasional cigar smoker, that cigar people do this…if you’re after quality, the Sports Utility Churchill Cigar is the preffered item, and those suckers are HUGE.

  12. ooh, Noah, Leah and I might have to take issue with your last one – the Sports Utility Raver Pant…as those are the favored pant type (and the ones we spend our free time creating!!)The vast majority of my pants are larger at the ankle than the waist. It’s a…a..dancing thing. Yeah.

    Also a surrey thing- Sports Utility Motorcycles…both the Hell’s Angels population with the noisy-ass Harleys and the strange Honda Goldwing Club (seriously!! this exists!) go by the “bigger is better” motto. I swear some of those Goldwings were larger than my Chevette. I TOTALLY agree with the Sports Utility Puffycoats. They’re pretty humorous. I know, since my dad is an occasional cigar smoker, that cigar people do this…if you’re after quality, the Sports Utility Churchill Cigar is the preffered item, and those suckers are HUGE.

  13. 1 : Whistleblower : My boyfriend is a non-signaller, and I’m a back-seat driver nag who gets on his case about it every single time.

    2 : Horn blower : I *always* signal. It is so ingrained in me that I find myself signalling in the underground parking lot (with no-one else around). Dante laughs at me, but I say, hey, if we all had this unconscious automatic response, the world would be a better place.

    3 : But worse than non-signallers, for me, are people who cram themselves between me and the car ahead – especially on the highway. Now I am not a slow driver, but I like to keep a decent distance between cars, but assholes who insist on cutting in front of me, basically make it necessary to ride the bumber of the person in front. Which i hate.

    4 : Oh! Oh! And what really drives me nuts is people (everyone) who, when the light turns green, wait for the long chain effect of car after car to take their foot off the brake before moving forward (ergo, the light has been green for a minute and we’re still not moving.) If everyone started moving at the same time when the light turned green, no one would hit the person in front and we’d all get where we’re going a lot faster.

    4 : What ever happened to those clear plastic umrellas that formaed a kindof cone halfway down your body? OK, so they were kinda in the league of those plastic hair caps that our grannies wore in the rian, but no eye-poking and lotsa rain protection.

    Sorry. I got a little ranty.

  14. 1 : Whistleblower : My boyfriend is a non-signaller, and I’m a back-seat driver nag who gets on his case about it every single time.

    2 : Horn blower : I *always* signal. It is so ingrained in me that I find myself signalling in the underground parking lot (with no-one else around). Dante laughs at me, but I say, hey, if we all had this unconscious automatic response, the world would be a better place.

    3 : But worse than non-signallers, for me, are people who cram themselves between me and the car ahead – especially on the highway. Now I am not a slow driver, but I like to keep a decent distance between cars, but assholes who insist on cutting in front of me, basically make it necessary to ride the bumber of the person in front. Which i hate.

    4 : Oh! Oh! And what really drives me nuts is people (everyone) who, when the light turns green, wait for the long chain effect of car after car to take their foot off the brake before moving forward (ergo, the light has been green for a minute and we’re still not moving.) If everyone started moving at the same time when the light turned green, no one would hit the person in front and we’d all get where we’re going a lot faster.

    4 : What ever happened to those clear plastic umrellas that formaed a kindof cone halfway down your body? OK, so they were kinda in the league of those plastic hair caps that our grannies wore in the rian, but no eye-poking and lotsa rain protection.

    Sorry. I got a little ranty.

  15. Sorry Jocelyn, didn’t mean to step on any toes. I’ve been a DJ on the radio, in clubs, and at raves for 13 years, and while I know the reason behind the size of the ankles (for dancing), I’m OK with flares and say 18″ ankles, but those ones with 30″ and larger ankles are a little too much for me. I don’t begrudge the creators of them, after all they are a big part of rave/skater culture, I just think they look silly. It’s like how you find the puffy jackets humorous 🙂

  16. SUG — Sport Utility Groceries. You know the ones. The *massive* jars of mustard from Costco, the inhuman containers of mayonnaise. Unless you really are a restaurant kitchen or have a family of 11, there is just no need.

  17. SUG — Sport Utility Groceries. You know the ones. The *massive* jars of mustard from Costco, the inhuman containers of mayonnaise. Unless you really are a restaurant kitchen or have a family of 11, there is just no need.

  18. no worries Noah, it was thoroughly tongue-in-cheek. While I personally favor a 32″ bottom leg, (seriously) I wouldn’t inflict my fashion ideas on others in any serious manner. I mean hey, I work at Le Chateau, I see all sorts of versions of people’s personal ideas of fashion…even when that’s seriously misusing the word!!

  19. no worries Noah, it was thoroughly tongue-in-cheek. While I personally favor a 32″ bottom leg, (seriously) I wouldn’t inflict my fashion ideas on others in any serious manner. I mean hey, I work at Le Chateau, I see all sorts of versions of people’s personal ideas of fashion…even when that’s seriously misusing the word!!

  20. Why is it that every time you see a non signal-er, you forget that you’ve done the same thing a some point in time.
    Get a grip!!

  21. Why is it that every time you see a non signal-er, you forget that you’ve done the same thing a some point in time.
    Get a grip!!

  22. Sorry Jocelyn, didn't mean to step on any toes. I've been a DJ on the radio, in clubs, and at raves for 13 years, and while I know the reason behind the size of the ankles (for dancing), I'm OK with flares and say 18″ ankles, but those ones with 30″ and larger ankles are a little too much for me. I don't begrudge the creators of them, after all they are a big part of rave/skater culture, I just think they look silly. It's like how you find the puffy jackets humorous 🙂

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