The Honking

People are honking at me all the time lately and I don’t know why and it’s making me crazy.


I first noticed it on Friday afternoon, when I was on my way back to the office after physical therapy. Someone honked. It didn’t appear to be someone I knew, so I kind of dismissed it and went along my merry way.

On the way home from work on Friday, it happened again, this time approaching a stoplight. HONK. I considered quickly – do I know them? (No.) Did I just do something assholish? (Not as far as I know – I hadn’t changed lanes recently, and was slowing for the light.) Then I remembered being honked at earlier in the day, and figured that it was for one of two things:

  1. I still had my Kerry-Edwards sticker in the window;
  2. I had a tail light or a turn signal out.

So I immediately pulled over into the next parking lot I saw and got out, leaving the car running. The Kerry-Edwards sticker, which I’d put inside the window after the theft of the original, could really only be seen if you were right on top of my car, but I took it out anyway. And I did a quick run around the car and checked all the lights – all working. I checked the turn signals, too – all working.

Again, I chalked it up to coincidence, got back in the car, and drove home.

And then on Saturday it happened again.

This time I was waiting to make a right turn into a shopping center parking lot, and either the guy behind me or the guy across from me honked as I made the turn. My “check engine” light had come on while I was making this trip, so by this point I was certain that something was terribly wrong with the car, and/or that I was inadvertently pissing off EVERY SINGLE DRIVER IN VIRGINIA.

I checked everything again, and it was all still working. I contemplated whether or not my own car horn could be magically honking at random intervals, and added that to my conspiracy theory list. I called home freaking out about the engine light, and my dad said that if it was driving fine I should just bring it on home and we’d look at it the next day.

No one honked on my way home, but by this point it was an obsession. I talked constantly about what might be causing people to honk at me. I immediately discounted any “hot mama” theories, because a)SO not true, and b)It’s happened at night twice, when no one can really see me. I wished that someone would honk me at a light so that I could roll down my window and go “WHY ARE YOU HONKING ME?” and maybe get some answers.

Finally I came up with a convoluted theory that when I braked while using the turn signals, maybe something in the car was happening to make them stop working and also sometimes to honk my own car horn, and that maybe this was why the check engine light had come on.

Tangent: I learned the clicky-clicky trick to pulling fault codes from the car’s computer, but I’d never done it with this car and it didn’t seem to work, as the light wouldn’t flash codes at me when I did the clicky-clicky thing. It was only yesterday that I learned that on my significantly newer car, the clicky-clicky causes the fault codes to display on the electronic odometer screen. Um, DUH. Anyway – as it turns out the check engine light is on for an internal problem and probably has nothing to do with whatever’s making people honk at me. Onward.

So on Sunday I dragged my mom outside and we tested every possible combination of turn signals, lights, wheel-turning, and so on. Everything worked perfectly. I should also add that I had my car inspected only a few weeks ago and passed, so I expect everything to be working right now. After the driveway tests, I made her follow me to and from the grocery store, taking a route that would ensure all combinations of turn signals, braking, varying speeds, and so on. She saw nothing. And no one honked.

Again, I figured “super-weird coincidence.”

Nobody honked on my way to work yesterday.

But then on my way back from lunch I got honked, by a black Lexus SUV in the right lane as I drove by in the left (five miles over the speed limit, steering straight, doing nothing offensive or assish that I know of). It was a little honkhonk.

So then I decided that maybe my front tires were looking a little low, and since I have low-profile tires and people often mistakenly think they are low on air, it’s reasonable that people think I’m getting a flat tire. I stopped and put air in all the tires, even though they didn’t really need it. In fact I think I overinflated, and I’m a very bad girl and need to go back and let some air out of them sometime.

Nobody honked on my way home yesterday.

This morning I was followed by a sheriff’s deputy for a mile or two of my trip, and I figure if there was something wrong with the car he’d have noticed and pulled me over for sure, which would almost have been a relief at this point. He didn’t, though. No honk. No lights.

But then I got honked on my way from the gas station to the office this morning, by a driver in the oncoming lane, who honked like “HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK” as he drove by, and I am seriously beginning to lose my mind at this point.

My latest theory is that my wheels look like they’re about to fall off. Which is pretty freaky. I have kicked my wheels and wheel covers numerous times since developing this theory, and they have failed to fall off in the parking lot which I think is a good sign.

But then when I’m driving I suddenly feel like there’s a shimmy in the back end and that freaks me out.

But then I am quite prone to intense paranoia when it comes to tire issues with my car.

So I try to like hike up in the seat and look through the side-view mirrors to see if the wheels look weird and I don’t see anything, and yeah, I know that’s a totally safe driving technique and I should cut it the hell out already, but it’s driving me nuts. It’s starting to feel like a Hitchcock movie.

Why are people honking at me all the time? Why won’t it stop?

12 Replies to “The Honking”

  1. I found out that having your gas cap not screwed on completely right will cause your check-engine light to come on.

  2. …nobody is honking at you.
    You're going to have an accident if you don't ignore the honking.
    If you can't ignore it – drive wearing only a bikini from now and at least you can drive and KNOW everyone is honking at you — and why.

  3. Man, I loved, loved, loved this entry. Its just wonderful. I have no idea, but maybe there is something dragging. Check you undercarriage.

  4. The problem I am seeing with this honking issue is…generally when I see another car with something wrong with it, I dont honk. What's the point? They either already know about it or they'll ignore me. It's not that I'm an unconcerned citizen or some lame crap like that, but maybe its just me? So maybe you look like a celebrity and everyone is trying to get your attention??? Hehe Im sorry I can't help ya on that one. Keep us updated tho.

  5. Maybe they remember you as that one girl who had the Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car. Either that or they hate you for personal reasons.

  6. Maybe there's someone in your back seat with an axe. Or maybe there's a weird gang initiation where you have to honk at short girls in blue cars?

  7. “Check your undercarriage.”


    but anyway, clearly, it is the TINA FEY GLASSES.

    i'm a mite obsessed.

  8. yeah – still no pictures. Don't think we're letting that one go.
    oh, and they hate you. Those people on the road – they're not honking at you but they do despise you.

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