I've always been a fan of the 4th of July... I think because it's summertime and usually my activities include something to do with being on or in the water and this year will be no different. Then, of course, there is the ooohing and aaahing that happens around 9 that night. Fun! It's one American tradition I never get tired of. This year, as the 4th approached it got me thinking about traditions. Most have meaning behind them (why else would they be traditions, right?) Others, not so much...
Somehow, somewhere, we Americans have established other not-so-meaningful traditions that just bug the crap out of me. For what ever reason they are accepted as part of life and most of the time we go on and ignore them. I am, however, a big pain and I am going to point them out.
Take, for instance, the day after Thanksgiving. You will not catch my big butt anywhere near anything shopping-related on that day. I think it's freaking nuts and why we as a culture torture ourselves just so say "we were there" I'll never know... What we do all know is that the malls, parking lots, restaurants, movie theaters, everything will be jammed. It's a given. So why is it necessary for some poor television reporter to be camped out at the crack of dawn (or even midnight in some cases) on post-turkey day to tell us that yes, the mall is crowded, yes, people are buying their Christmas presents, and yes, parking is a bitch... Of course, the sign-off always being, "on this, the busiest shopping day of the year!" Bah! Humbug!
Next, if I ever find out who the first person was that decided that an integral part of raising money for whatever cause via car wash required cheerleaders/band members/scout groups to stand on the side of the road with poorly designed signs yelling "CAAAR WAAASH! CAAAR WAAASH!" at traffic, I will hunt them down and make them eat a piece of neon orange poster board. Oh, look, honey, there are some young people with hoses, buckets, and large sponges massaging that vehicle over there. I wonder what they are doing? "CAAAR WAAASH!" OH, I see! Thank goodness those youths were kind enough to yell out to us that it is indeed a car wash. I would have spent my entire day pondering that.
This last cultural phenomenon never affected me until I moved to the South, and hopefully it won't spread. Now, it is my understanding that the turn signal on a vehicle is designed to do just that. It's my way of telling you, the car behind me, that I plan to turn in this direction or that one, therefore momentarily allowing you to slow down to allow me to do so and go on your merry way. It also allows you, the car behind me, to ease around me should the coast be clear. I expect you to do the same. Down here, though, the natives are run amok with Southern Hospitality and want you to know that the car in front of the car that is in front of you will be turning this way or that momentarily. Do you see what I'm saying? Signaling me (number three in line) via number two (you, dumbass!) that car number one (the one that is actually doing the turning) IS TURNING!!!!! NO. NO. NO!!! Please, stop it.
Happy Independence Day!