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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

COLUMN: TOO Much Honking


When Oliver Lucas created the first vehicle horn in the 1910 it was a much-needed invention that is still as relevant today. It has also become a major pain in the back side.

Rather than just use it for what is intended, the horn has become as source of communication for people and it is beyond annoying. People really need to tone it down with honking.

The other day we were driving home in a 35 mile per hour zone by a school. Despite the fact we were going nearly 10 miles under the speed limit someone parked along the side of a state highway thought this was not slow enough and gave us a honk and a dirty look. I seriously I don't think we could have been going any slower if I was outside the car doing the crab walk while trying to balance a pizza box on my head. There was no need to honk at all.

I'm not quite sure if they wanted to intimidate us but irritate was the outcome.

Somewhere along the line people really have started to lose the idea of what the horn is for. If someone is trying to prevent an accident it is more than fine to let loose on the horn, but if someone is just wanting to go way past a smile and wave honking the horn like they are playing the old whack a mole game it is very distracting.

Whenever I hear a horn, I immediately look for danger and am not pleased at all that someone just wanted to honk because they saw their buddy walking his dog.

The horn shenanigans have also become a part of radio commercials and it is a little bit dangerous. A stupid commercial should not distract me to the point I'm afraid something bad happened. It's almost as bad as the commercials that have police sirens because that is not distracting to a driver at all.

Laziness also plays a major part with the horn. For years I have seen people pull up to a house and honk to signal their arrival. A simple trip to the door or text would be fine, there is no need to honk every eight seconds until the person comes outside. I think probably a great way to tell the character of a first date would be if he honks or comes to the door. If they honk, do yourself a favor and don't come outside.

I remember getting in really big trouble growing up because someone when one of my high school friends was coming to get me, they kept the horn at a constant blare until I left the house. My step dad at the time took it out on me rather than the honker, but it never would have been an issue if my friend wasn't being an idiot.

Picking the kids from the school this year was also a nightmare. About once a week the kids leaving in their vehicles thought it would be fun to play let's get about 20 of us to all honk non stop for five minutes. If I was the type of guy that could have gone and disabled their horns the next day I would have.


And some people will just honk it to feel in control. I swear that people feel so entitled these days that they can justify honking the horn when someone isn't not doing exactly what they want them to. This applies perfectly in a parking lot when two people are going to try and get the same spot at once and one thinks by honking this gives them the right to take it.

One of the silliest types of honkers is the one that blares the horn with the middle finger. While annoyed by the horn, I find someone flipping me the bird downright silly. It's not scary, it's not intimidating, it's not going to stop anything, and it only makes the person look like an eight-year-old on the playground fighting over a dodgeball game.

With the weather warming, there is going to a lot of people traveling though Montana. I just hope they aren't the honking type.


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