The turn signal column

On our National Day of Thanks, I would like to send out a special message of appreciation to the woman who managed to not kill me when I was out for a run a couple weeks ago. When you didn't have your turn signal on, I assumed you actually weren't turning your car. Silly me!

Honestly, after decades of jogging and biking through our fine town, I should have known better. For some inexplicable reason, certain people just refuse to flip that little lever on the steering wheel. To you people, I have one simple message:


I know I sound like the "Get off my lawn" neighbor, but it's been a pet peeve of mine for some time now. When you experience the same aggravation over and over again, it eventually tends to eat away at you. Don't believe me? Just ask my kids whenever they leave a room without turning off the light or when they hold the door to our house open forever on a warm summer day (Hey, are we air-conditioning all of Hinsdale?).

I suppose I should be more considerate and think about the exhausting effort necessary to activate the turn signal. You undoubtedly burn one or possibly even two calories with the flick of your finger. That's enough to wear you out for the rest of the day. Maybe it would help if we practiced at home. Like, when we're watching TV:

Flip up, rest. Flip down, rest. Repeat.

To be fair, I'm sure this happens in other towns besides ours. But because I live and work in Hinsdale, this is where I notice it the most. You should know this isn't a gender or age thing either. I've seen equal violations from women and men, young and old. And contrary to popular belief, it's not reserved for just Mercedes and BMWs. I've seen plenty of blinkerless Toyotas and Chevys too. You know who you are (or do you?).

Now I don't want to enter the holidays on a cranky note. But I think this is a worthwhile message, and one that resonates with many others besides myself. I can only hope some day you will be able to thank one of your fellow Hinsdaleans for not running you over because they decided to actually use their turn signal.

Until then, let's all try to be considerate of one another and go the extra mile when it's time to turn our cars. And if you happen to be walking, jogging, biking or just plain driving down Hinsdale Avenue, don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street. And it wouldn't hurt to say a little prayer, too.

- John Bourjaily of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email him at [email protected].