I fantasize frequently about ways of communicating with other drivers while on the road. Sometimes a simple nod or wave (including the 1-, 2-, and even 3-finger wave) can suffice. But more often, there’s glare on the windshield or the windows can’t be rolled down for shouting because it’s subzero outside. For a while I kept poster board and markers in my car. I imagined I would have time, waiting next to an idling vehicle that only appeared to be vacating its parking spot, to lean over and scrawl “MOVING? Y/N” large enough for the driver pretending not to see me quickly to comprehend my plight. I never used the poster board because more often than not I needed it during high speed chases on 90/94 when there was a high risk that scrawling in giant letters “YOUR REGARD FOR MY LIFE TOUCHES ME DEEPLY YOU MOTHERF@#$ING A#$HOLE” would have resulted in massive damages to my car. But then one day I saw the invention that could change my life. An SUV in front of me sported a scrolling marquee on top of the rear bumper, just underneath the car’s license plate. It was an advertisement for mani/pedis with a number to call. Eureka. Imagine: you’re driving down Lake Shore and the driver in front of you drifts into your lane just inches away from pushing you both across the median. You, calm as ever, reach forward to the keyboard on your dashboard. You type with a practiced hand, “I ACTUALLY DID WANT TO SPEND TODAY IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM YOU STUPID D%$#HEAD.” Immediately the admonishment appears on the scrolling marquee mounted at the top of your car. Publically humiliated, the driver can now only grope blindly for the nearest exit, attempting to escape the glare of the ten other drivers who have received the news of his incompetence with visible disgust. Or say you’re stuck behind someone holding up local traffic in order to have an inconsequential conversation with someone on the sidewalk. Thinking fast, you hit the rotation button, turning the marquee 180 degrees to the rear. You broadcast to the line of cars behind you, “EVERYBODY HONK!” A wave of angry beeping instantly corrects the negligent behavior of the now humiliated driver, who ends his conversation and speeds away in shame.


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