Saturday, October 3, 2009
Someone once said the car was an extension of a man's sexuality. Don't ask me who, it doesn't matter. Well if that be true, then for some, honking has to be the equivalent of stroking oneself. There is no other explanation as to why they engage in it with such frequency and vigor. You know who I'm talking about. You hear them before human eyes can possibly see them. The car may be any make, model or size, but the horn would definitely be the shrillest, loudest, pitchiest sound source invented, guaranteed to be the simulation of physically taking a cheese grater to the eardrums. The road may be as empty as central Thar or clogged as far as the eye can see, it doesn't matter. Speaking the universal language of 'beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep' the acoustic army wades into battle against peace, good taste and common sense.
The horn is a tool. It's a way to warn the oblivious of several tons of metal headed his way. The Microsoft Encarta dictionary (I was too lazy to look up anything else) describes it as as "automotive emergencies noise-making warning device". See that word there? EMERGENCIES? Unless you are absolutely brain-dead on the road and have the motor reflexes of a five-year-old with Parkinsons riding a roller coaster, every moment you spend on the road cannot be an emergency. So why the desperation to make some noise, so to speak? Why do these people need an earsplitting accompaniment to every move they make on the road? Is it an adrenaline thing? After all, in this age of road rage, when every Tom, Dick and Hari can become a frothing maniac with a gun at the slightest ding to their chrome, speeding can kill in more ways than one. Then there are cops hiding behind bushes, trackers in hand. Is this how the thrill seekers are lashing out? By making some noise? Has 'button to the plastic' replaced 'pedal to the metal' as speed junkies stage the world's whiniest rebellion ever? I don't know. All I know is, something needs to be done.
Now obviously, putting pictures of bicycle horns with a big red slash across them has not worked. Shocking, but true. Despite slathering enough posters throughout the city to prop up small building , the Delhi no honking day on January 1st too was not a rousing success, as it quickly devolved into the not giving a fuck day. So I suggest few alternatives. Honking SWAT squads armed with mini-nukes in every street corner is clearly off the table, what with Obama pushing for further nuclear disarmament. So I will need the car industries help with this one. It's simple really. Just a set of four speakers attached to the driver's seat that feed the sound of the horn inside the car. Only louder. That should deter some, but what about the people who are already deaf, thanks to playing 50 cent on rotation in their car stereos? Well, then comes the next step. Any time the driver holds the button down for three seconds,the car would deliver an electric shock. Not a mild, this-is-tingly kind of shock, but a heavy duty, high voltage, driver-grilled-to-perfection shock. Sure, there would be a few deaths. Pileups would be a problem for a while. But after the horrified screams have subsided, after the smoke has cleared and the explosions have stopped, you'd be free to step out and walk in peace and silence. And it would all be worth it....
Until that is, a car ploughs into the small of your back. You'd never hear it coming.