The unmitigated gall

Nothing ruins a day like thoughtless, rude or pantless motorists

David Matthews / April 01, 2019
David Matthews

Lightning bolts, camouflage and animal stripes? Those car graphics are so 2018. The cool new exterior embellishment for 2019 is blood splatters.

Applied as a vinyl vehicle wrap, these realistic graphics create the impression that a violent collision left blood stains all over your car.

If your automotive choices say a lot about you, what does this gruesome adornment convey? That you enjoy killing people? That you know a shortcut through a slaughterhouse? That your car is having a nosebleed?

More importantly, what message are you sending to police?

A German motorist recently found out when police pulled him over after reportedly mistaking the blood splatters on his car wrap for the real thing. Ultimately the officers let him go, deciding that “awful taste is not a crime.”

Don’t honk your own horn

You know that driver who lays on their horn if you don’t hit the gas within a millisecond of a red light turning green?

A new study by the insurance website Kanetix.ca revealed that driver is probably a man around 30 years old.

Researchers found that while 46% of drivers are comfortable using their horn to express their disapproval, patience seems to come with age.

Millennials (59%) are the most likely to honk at other drivers, followed by Generation X (41%), Baby Boomers (41%) and the Silent Generation (38%).

Gender didn’t make a big difference, with 48% of men admitting to being horn happy vs. 45% of women.

And just what is all this horn honking about? Almost half (46%) of drivers say they’ll lay on the horn when another driver is doing, or about to do, something dangerous, like cut them off.

Almost one in five (17%) admit to being that driver in the intersection who honks when the light turns green.

And rounding out the list are the lowlifes who honk at cyclists (7%), pedestrians (6%) and children playing (5%).

Crashing the party

A Utah man deserved a few honks on his 66th birthday.

Dennis Butler kicked off his big day in February by playing chicken with trucks on a country road in central Utah. Three different trucks had to swerve off the road to avoid being hit by Butler’s car.

Witnesses told police that Butler then stole a sign for a nearby pheasant hunting lodge and began mooning passersby.

A deputy reported that while speaking to witnesses, Butler began speeding toward his patrol car, forcing the officer to pull off the road to avoid being hit. The deputy’s report noted that “The driver sped past me holding up a middle finger on one hand toward me (commonly known as flipping someone off).”

The deputy then began chasing Butler, who fled at speeds near 100 mph. Eventually Butler pulled into a residence and hid in a nearby shed.

Police were eventually able to lure Butler out and take him into custody by legal authority (commonly known as arresting someone).

Bridge to nowhere

Hosting the Super Bowl isn’t cheap.

In addition to the $46 million that the city of Atlanta spent to meet all of the NFL’s requirements for February’s Super Bowl 53, they also allocated $13 million for a pedestrian bridge to help fans safely cross a busy street between a transit center and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the game took place.

Unfortunately, no one ran the bridge plans by Homeland Security, which declared the Super Bowl a “National Special Security Event” and placed the Secret Service in charge of security.

The Secret Service decided that the new bridge was close enough to the stadium to fall within their security perimeter, so only authorized staff and media were allowed to use the bridge before the game. Fans were forced to cross the busy street that the bridge was built to avoid.

This was an especially painful fumble since the Atlanta City Council had approved an additional $14 million in bridge funding, largely to ensure that the walkway would be finished in time for the Super Bowl.

In the end, you could say the $27 million neon-lit serpentine structure was more useless on Game Day than the Los Angeles Rams offense.

About the Author

Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.

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