Family Life, Fiction

Episode 20 – Blinkers

Today I saw a car attempting to make a left turn and stopping right in the middle of the intersection. I guess that was the point when the driver realized the light was red. I saw the tail lights turn white and expected the car to back up but it didn’t. After a couple of seconds the traffic light turned green and the car finished making the turn.

It occurred to me that a few seconds can make the difference between whether you are on the right side, or the wrong side, of the law.

Denny is very negligent in using his blinkers, or flashers, particularly when he changes lanes. I try to tell him how hazardous this is. The cars behind him can’t anticipate him. He tells me he uses his signal lights when there is a car behind him.

This is so uncharacteristic of him. And coming from the guy who took driver’s ed back in the 70’s. I’ve thought of telling him that I don’t stop at stop lights either unless I see a car coming. Of course that’s not true. Generally. But the reasoning is similar.

The difference between me and Denny is that I use my flashers all the time. Denny follows the “spirit” of the law when it applies to the use of flashers.

I learned to drive on my dad’s standard pick-up truck when I was fourteen. He used the truck to deliver pigs to market in Winnipeg. There was always a lingering scent in the cab even though my dad, unlike most farmers, faithfully showered and changed before a trip to the city.

I’ve concluded that Denny’s refusal to use his blinkers is his way of acting out. A sort of harmless rebellion against childhood boundaries. When he was a boy he was only allowed to drive his bike to the end of the block. The one time Denny ventured beyond his block, some big kids shoved him down onto the pavement. His mother was right.

I, on the other hand, drove my bike all over town at the ripe old age of eight and never got into any danger.

I console myself by reminding myself that, so far, Denny has not had an accident because of not using his blinkers. I really don’t want to have to say, I told you. I try to avoid that. He can generally figure that part out by himself.

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