My new apartment building – as much as I love it – keeps me up at night.
The tenants in my building are lucky to have a three-story parking garage with a remote-controlled entry and assigned spots. The problem – the only way to drive up to the next level is on a one-lane ramp, wide enough for just one car.
The building is small enough that most of the time, cars aren’t entering and exiting the lot at the same time. But, most of the drivers seem to worry more about this problem than they need to, so they honk as they enter the ramp to go up or down a level.
They honk at 6 p.m., they honk at 11 p.m., they honk at 3 a.m., they honk at 7 a.m. They seem to honk whenever I am just beginning to fall asleep or as I’m enjoying my last 20 minutes of precious sleep in the morning.
In the wee hours of the morning – or even during rush hour – is it really necessary to alert the whole building of your presence? “Beep beeeeep. Move out of the way, all you travelers at 5:17 a.m. – watch out! I’m coming up!”
Drivers of the building: I have a radical solution to this problem. When you’re driving up to the ramp – get ready for this, I know it’s crazy – slow down and look both ways. No need to wake up our neighbors to the north in Canada. Just look around the corner, and if you don’t see a car, go ahead. If you do see a car, be a mensch, back up, and allow it to pass.
What if this reckless honking became a trend in other aspects of life? Instead of holding the door for someone leaving a store, people would just blindly run through the door, screaming, “Back up, Walgreen’s customers! Make way for me – I need to buy dishwasher detergent!”
Little kids wouldn’t learn to look both ways before crossing the street. They would just yell, “Stop, cars! I’m going into the street to get my hackey sack!”
There would be no need for traffic signs, street lanes, sidewalks, lines at stores, or waiting rooms. Why wait your turn when you can just shout and announce to everyone that you’re about to cut them off?
So, drivers of my new building, I appreciate your desire not to get into an accident, but I think there’s another way. Look both ways, drive slowly, and be polite. My REM sleep cycles will thank you!