Doctor-Who-Dont-Blink-t-shirtI can’t believe I haven’t brought up the subject of blinkers to date, especially as often as I see infractions of the use/non-use of them. This rant will be in two parts, so as not to overwhelm the reading audience with too lengthy a tirade (in the event an intermission/bathroom break is needed midway).


Unless you’re going to employ the still-valid, tried-and-true method of advising all drivers around you of your intended variation from your current course by use of hand signals (ideal for cyclists, whether motor, bi, tri, or any other contraption that may or may not have built-in electric notification devices). If you employ such modes of transportations, especially bi or tri, good on ‘ya. Saving the environment and all that stuff, plus exercising multiple muscles, increasing your heartbeat (and thus strengthening the muscle itself), forcing you to breathe non-stagnant apartment air replete with toxins (so you can venture outside and get your RDA of toxins), kicking the sweat glands into overdrive to assist in flushing of aforementioned toxins, drinking more fluids in order to stay hydrated (as well as aiding in the aforementioned [how many times is he going to use that word?] flushing of toxins via urination, etc. – all noble and healthy causes (not that I am guilty of any such practices – you can ask my doctor [even though she can’t legally talk about it]; she would likely hold me up [not that should could pick me up] as an example of what NOT to do by not doing all of the above).image004

So, now that you know how to use your hand/arm to signal fellow travelers along your route, I realize all too well that you will NOT employ these simple actions while in your car. Reasons? A plethora:

  • I’ll have to roll the window down (though you young people have absolutely no clue why we say “roll the window up,” when you’ve never had to do so – all you do is hit a button, and even that is taxing, and takes your hand off your phone, thus preventing you from listening to that newfangled rock’n’roll, or, worse, texting, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, jackass!)
  • I’ll have to eventually roll the window back up (see previous extended spew/explanation)
  • “I can’t take both hands off the wheel!!! We’ll all crash and burn and stuff!” Sorry, unless you’re 102, 5’-nothing tall, and are hunched over the steering wheel using your chin as an additional steering device, this does not apply to you. If you are all of the above, I do NOT want to know your secret. I’m only in my late 50s as of this writing. Can you imagine how crotchetcurmudgeonassholebitchy I would be if I lived much longer?
  • “A vehicle coming in the opposite direction might lop my limb off!”
  • “My nails aren’t dry! I just finished applying nail polish and mascara for the last 50 miles and don’t want to have that all go to waste!”
  • “I’ll end up with multiple hits from the widest possible variety of Amazonian fauna.”
  • “It’s too hot outside to roll down the window!”
  • “It’s too cold outside to roll down the window!”
  • “It’s raining outside and if my arm gets wet I’ll have to pull over immediately and re-enact the witch’s ‘I’m melting…’ scene from The Wizard of Oz (NOT the Diana Ross one).”
  • “It’s too polleny outside – I would need a thorough disinfecting immediately upon egress.” (Be honest, you likely needed that disinfecting BEFORE you even got into the car… in fact, now that we’re talking about it, you might wanna go ahead and get that done – your co-workers, complete strangers, pets, and innumerable non-domesticated small furry animals are starting to complain).

That being said – wait, what was my point? Oh yeah, the fact that your cranium is too thick, thus there is less space for a functioning brain, and you will not use simple hand signals, you are left with only one alternative (or, maybe others, but that’s not the point right now… and stop calling me ‘Shirley’) – BLINKERS!!!!

200Call them what you will (they’re inanimate objects and would not answer if called anyway). Blinkers, turn signals, directional indicator (aren’t you fancy, you ponce!), signal light, trafficator (it is TOO a real word… I’m not just trying to win at Scrabble because there’s a Triple Word Score square in the middle of that); they all refer to those easily-activated plastic/glass-encased bulbs – usually amber in color – which were graciously installed by the union workers of the manufacturers of your automobile (OK, for the sake of simplicity, we are simply going to assume all vehicles about which we are speaking will be “cars,” even though the same equipment and functions are applied to vans, buses, motorcycles, lorries, scooters, taxis (don’t even get me STARTED about taxis!!!), tractor/trailer rigs (with or without trailer), those screwy Sharper Image bars on wheels that 10 people can sit on and pedal their way through the streets (though technically, I don’t think they can drink anything above a 3.2 level, and if that’s the case, why?), and even the horse and buggy contraptions used by the Amish (or Pennsylvania Dutch as they are often called – not to their face, mind you, as they may punch you with their horse – and while we’re on the subject, given multiple precedents, shouldn’t it be “Dutch Pennsylvanians,” like “African Americans,” “Mexican Americans,” etc., placing the country of origin first? I’m just sayin’… I actually know someone who grew up in that part of the world, and I will check with him as a reliable resource, and append this rant with what’s sure to be the unquestionably correct explanation) to trot slothy tourists about the beautiful countryside in and around Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Yes, there is such a place – I just needed a way to fit that into the conversation.

turnsignalSo, who is responsible for the now-omnipresent turn signal? Good question! Glad you asked. Shows that you’re paying attention and are not simply a lump of flan going bad in the cupboard. According to – yes, I have references! – Second Chance Garage: For The Car Restoration Enthusiast (Have you ever seen car restorers? They’re usually quite enthusiastic… “No honey, I did not buy smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for the entire house to ensure the safety of our family. I stopped by the Enthusiastic Restorer Store – by the way, those guys must brush their teeth every hour, because I was almost blinded by their enthusiastically white smiles – and gleefully picked up this 19-ought-8 turn signal for my Edsel Model T Cabriolet El Camino! Isn’t it cool!!??? Honey, you don’t seem very enthusiastic…?!” I think I’ve tangentialized a bit too verbiagely here…). On the website I mentioned waaaaaaaay back before, their article, entitled, appropriately enough, “Turn, Turn, Turn: A History of the Turn Signal,” states (and I have no real reason to doubt them):

In 1907 Percy Douglas-Hamilton applied for a patent (received in 1909 as U.S. patent 912831) for a device “indicating the intended movements of vehicles.”

How convenient is that? Oh, they also have lots of other words I could plagiarize at this time, but that would require even more useless typing than I’m already employing, when all you really need to do is click on the link above to read all about the fascinating – and remember, enthusiastic! – history of blinkers, ad nauseum.

1936-stainless-steel-ford1Ooooh, by the way, while I was on that website I found those little graphic links to other “relevant” stuff (like when you’re on a website researching the true history of the Naked Mole Rat and down at the bottom is a link to Girls Gone Wild with Massive Jugs in Bonaire), and one of them happened to be about Stainless Steel Fords. Evidently, for some reason explained in detail in the article I couldn’t be bothered to read, some wacky guy ended up giving the green light (interesting segue from blinkers, dontcha think?) to producing 6 (not 7, and not 5… 4 is right out) of these babies in 1936 (only 4 survive to this day). I just thought it was cool…

Now, what was I talking about? Marmosets? No… oh yeah, blinkers. Marmosets rarely, if ever, use their blinkers. Little Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, self-entitled pricks.

So, now that we all know everything there is to know about blinkers, I have only one word for you – USETHEGODDAMNTHINGS!!!!!!! Unless you are crainially-deficient (and I don’t just mean your head is the size of Albert Einstein’s breakfast soft-boiled egg, but you have a skull – or not – completely devoid of that spongy thing that makes us speak gud… what do they call those? Oh yeah, BRAINS!!!!!!), THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON NOT TO USE YOUR BLINKERS!!!!

Silvery-Marmoset-Mico-Argentatus-copiaIn many parts of the country, world, presumably other planets, etc., it is against the law NOT to employ your turn signal to indicate your veerance (made-up word) from your otherwise-continuous direction of travel (though evidently marmosets are exempt from this rule… grrrrrrr….). You may be written a ticket, charged a fine, scolded soundly by the local gendarme, paddled on the side of the road like the bad boy/girl that you are (I assume this applies to boys and girls, and not just boy/girls), etc.

Have I made my point clear? Do you understand the community service I am providing by giving you this highly-educational (and not-quite-as-boring as the Sex Ed class taught by your “I-wear-my-shirts-3-sizes-too-small-to-show-off-my-muscular-areas!” Physical Education instructor – the only guy who could make such a topic yawn-inducing… though I imagine a marmoset’s presentation on the same subject might be equally un-understandable) and invaluable lesson? Will you pass this along to your children (who will simply roll their eyes and point out that you have no idea what it’s like being a kid), and your grandchildren (who will also roll their eyes, point out that grandpa is off his rocker – or Naugahyde Barcalounger – and hit him up for cash when mom and dad aren’t looking [likely distracted by roving bands of non-traffic-safety-observing marmosets])? I certainly hope so.

The alternative is a world without rules – and lots of traffic accidents. Civilization as we know it will disintegrate, and the planet will be taken over by – you guessed it (ever seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies? Not the recent Mark Wahlburg ones, but the Chuck Heston “Get your paws off my you damn dirty ape!” ones) – Marmosets! And that is simply a world in which I cannot live. I would have to move to Canada.


PART TWO (forgot about that one, didn’t you?) – TURNOFFYOURGODDAMNBLINKERS!!!!!

Real simple, even for marmosets. Once you have completed your course alteration, having faithfully employed your factory-installed, amber in color (well, the plastic, not the bulb), your vehicle SHOULD automatically turn itself back to the I’m-waiting for the next time you faithfully employ your turn signal to indicate a course change so as to alert other drivers and not cause an accident and not get a ticket mode. However, one caviar (or is that caveat? I never get that straight – no wonder French waiters look at me funny when I order “A steaming big bowl of Sevruga Caveat,” at which point they throw me to the marmosets) of this automatic turning off thingy: if your turn has not been of a sufficient degree (and you said you would never need the Pythagorean Theorem, so why should you have to learn it?), the vehicle does not recognize that you have actually made said intended turn, and will remain blinking to its heart’s content (what, you thought turn signals didn’t have a heart? You insensitive prick!).

In this case, there is likely an annoying “clicka-clicka-clicka-clicka-clicka-clicka” sound being emitted inside your passenger compartment (you can probably also hear it in the glove compartment – hell, the body in the trunk can certainly hear it, as it’s right next to the damn blinkers). This will be accompanied by a visual cue, on your digital, or analog, dashboard, right next to that mysterious I-don’t-know-what-it-means light in the shape of a car engine that just remains on all the time. It will show one of your arrows, or the other one, still blinking, even though you now no longer have any intent to veer off course.

HOWEVER, no one outside your little “clicka clicka” world can read your mind (except the marmosets), and so have no idea if you’re going to turn on that next upcoming road… OK, not that one, likely the next one… OK, not that one either, so surely the next one… not that one either??? When is this bag of douche going to turn for cripes’ (who is this “cripes” guy?) sake?????

My final point here (thank Odin he’s about to finish – talk like that will get me typing even more) is to make sure that, once your turn has completed, YOUTURNOFFYOURGODDAMNBLINKER!!!! Otherwise, someone on a side road will assume you are slowing down to turn immediately before entering your personal automotive space, and he will thus enter your oncoming lane of traffic. This is usually followed by one of those 1960s Batman-style BLAM! graphics, and loud noises to match. Then, assuming no concussions, there will be an extreme amount of cursing-blaming-threatening-to-punch-you-into-the-next-century talk. You don’t want that. Or do you? You are one weird character.

Just make sure you’re not driving from Key West to Seattle with your right turn signal blinking. Someone – maybe a marmoset – will justifiably shoot you before you reach Ottumwa, Iowa.

Thank you for your attention. You may now go back to watching Family Feud hosted by whoever is not getting acting gigs anymore.