I have a somewhat simplistic way at viewing the world, I think most people can be defined in two categories. There are the Givers and then there are Takers, I have been really working hard to be a Giver, not just for a brief moment, but all day, every day. I get a little happy feeling inside me when I try to improve the well-being of my fellow man.
I know life is short, we could all be dead at any moment, so I try to make the most of each day. I have been doing some un-scientific research, and figured out that most people get pretty grumpy when they are driving, especially the periods of driving to work and then again on the way home from work, this is usually when the traffic is the heaviest and occasionally tempers can flare. I also feel these periods are when I can be the most effective as far as trying to improve the well-being of others, basically just trying to give them a smile.
So I always try to get on the road during rush hours, because I know there are a lot of stressed out drivers out there that probably need my help. That’s why I like to wave to people as I drive down the road, I know a wave might not seem like much, but it’s just my little way of saying “Hey there, I’m your friend. Won’t you be mine too?” I have been doing this little trick now for about three months, I call it my “Happy Hand Time”. In the first two months, most people would return the gesture, either with one of those semi-smile, semi-head tilt things and others would just do a quick brush of the hand. But if this last moth here has been any indication, those days are long gone now. Seems like people are just too wrapped up in themselves these days to even notice a nice, well-built, heavily tattooed guy and his friendly ways.
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that just simply waving just isn’t enough to get the attention of people out there driving these days. I have been experimenting with other methods of trying to raise the spirits of my fellow motorists. For example, sometimes when I’m stopped at a red light I will sing songs to the people next to me, I slip in my ABBA cassette and wail out the lyrics to “Fernando” as loud as I can. Usually, it only registers a few raised eyebrows and rolled up windows, but once in a while there is an appreciative driver who will honk at me or throw a lit cigarette into my window. I’m always quick to thank them for the smoke, even though I don’t smoke, at least I have the common decency to be thankful for the gift.
Other times I like to engage my fellow motorists in stare-down contests, you know the game…you stare at someone until one of you blinks. I always seem to win, because most people don’t have very long attention spans. But not me, I’m determined, I’m in it to win it! I will follow the same car for miles, staring down the pretty female drivers until they have their gas pedal pressed to the floor. Once I got my car up past 116 mph in one of these contests. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, I won’t stop until I have wrapped both of us around a telephone pole…Now that’s determination.
When I’m feeling pretty good about myself, like if I had a great workout at the gym, on the way home if I pull up next to someone I will occasionally put on a little puppet show. Especially if the driver seems to have a pissy look on their face, I will reach into my glove box and grab a few random objects and hold them up in the window, then I will do a little festive dance with these objects. I remember one particular puppet show I did, I called it “Pirates of the Missouri River”, I used two pens, a map of Montana and 25 pipe cleaners as my stage crew, and it was a huge hit. Sometimes when I clean out my car, I forget to put things in the glove box for my shows, so I have to improvise. I will take my shirt off and flex my pecs, I pretend they are two wild boars battling each other. You should see the response it usually gets.
The way I look at it is I’m an Entertainer, I’m just trying to bring joy to my fellow motorists. Anyone could “wow” a crowd at a fancy place like the Civic Center, but a true Entertainer will use any darn place as his stage, and my stage is my car. That’s why I do what I do, I’m out there trying to bring Happiness to all you drivers out there…Isn’t that at least worth a smile or something?
So remember, if you see someone waving at you while you’re driving home from work today, it’s probably me, so please wave back…please.