2003-10-14 5:10 PM

The Wave

Imagine that you're a frazzled, downtrodden dot-com worker, trying to skitter back to your office so you can eat your mid-afternoon lunch at your desk. You're crossing the street (note: with the light) when some dude in a big-ass truck turns the corner without looking and almost squashes you all over his shiny chrome bumper, then waves.

What on earth is up with the wave?

If the waver is trying to be apologetic or admit fault, the body language never reflects it. The Wave is rarely delivered with eye contact and always with a blank expression. When apologies are given, even drive-by ones, it helps to look, well, apologetic.

Some more likely explanations of what's going through a driver's head when he or she is delivering The Wave:

"Oh, NOW I see you."
"There's something flying around in the car that I'm trying to swat."
"Get the hell out of the road! Driving one of these babies means I always have the right-of-way."
"Gestern Abend in Verein, Gestern Abend in Verein, Trank ich zuviel roten Wein..."
"Hi, if you see my car in this neighborhood again, please don't slash my tires."

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