So yesterday I’m driving into town to pick up art supplies and meet Carlota for lunch, and a trucker honks at my car.

Crap, I think, do I have a flat tire?

He pulls up alongside me and I lean over to see if he’s pointing frantically to my rear tires and making throat cutting gestures or something like that. He begins waving at me and grinning.

Crap, I think, do I know this guy from somewhere?

My car is, it must be said, a bit of a generic Nissan beater, but I’m probably the only person in North Carolina with a "Ganesh is my Co-pilot" bumper sticker, so one could easily identify it on the road. Also, I recently added a sticker with a big turtle and a PASS WITH CARE sign–part of the zoo’s attempt to raise awareness of splattered turtles on the road. Maybe the truck driver was Hindu. He didn’t look it, but I don’t either, god knows. Maybe he just like turtles. Maybe I knew him from somewhere. Does Kevin have any friends who are truckers? I waved back politely and dropped back behind him. He began waving into his driver’s side mirror and grinning cheerfully. Well, he seemed friendly, anyway…Digger fan? Remote possibility…huh, maybe I should check my tires, just in case…

At this point in the recitation, Carlota put her head in her hands and said "No, he was trying to flirt with you."


"Happens to me all the time."

"But–how can he even SEE me?!"

"They can see boobs and thighs, and I think that’s enough."


I took this anecdote to Kevin, who gazed at me with the same expression that Carlota had worn, which is pretty much the one you get when you see a particularly dazed looking kitten trapped in the couch cushions. "Yup."

"WHY?! I mean, in the history of the world, has honking at random female drivers EVER worked!?"

"Well, if you read Penthouse…"

"Penthouse isn’t real!"

"No, but still. There are women who try to pick up guys on chain gangs…"

I examined this situation from all angles and came up with "So basically, the take-away is that I shouldn’t have waved back."

"No, that probably just encouraged him."

I slumped down on the bed. "The problem is that I’ve never figured out the point where being friendly stops and encouraging them begins. As far as I can tell, if I don’t run you over with a car, I’m encouraging you."

Kevin considered this analysis and failed to refute it. "Well…"

I’d checked all four tires for flats when I parked, too. Sigh.

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