You’re Gonna Lose That Arm
Recorded on July 17th, 2016
Driving on I-64 between downtown Richmond and Short Pump in either direction is always harrowing. Aggression, tailgating, other drivers willing to mow each other down just to keep their place in the passing lane. There is no charity. Today, I noticed more people than usual who were especially bad at merging into traffic from the ramps. Almost without exception, those bad mergers had their left arm hanging out the driver’s side window. Why do people do this? Are they stupid? Ignorant? Arrogant? Drunk? They must be all of the above. Not that Sarah does it, but she’s heard me helplessly chastise people from afar, saying what my parents always warned my brother and me: “You’re gonna lose that arm.” They are very nearly asking to be permanently right-handed.
Mom and Dad’s admonition initially seemed like a tall-tale, but the imagined picture of an arm being chopped off by a too-close oncoming car or a mirror or an unsuspecting cow’s sharp horn left an impression early, as it should. Now we see that that advice is not just hyperbolic: Oregon man loses arm as car sideswipes truck.
Am I right or what? PROOF.
There are two styles of arm-hanging: (1) The protruding bent elbow of the arm resting horizontally on the car door, and (2) the “I’ve-given-up” arm, a motionless pendulum pointing towards the ground. The former is slightly more forgivable, but only because there’s less limb exposed to the elements. The latter sends a message to other drivers that says, “What’s the point? I probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive, I don’t brush my teeth, and I can afford to lose my (always) overly hairy arm since I have a whole ‘nother one on the opposite side.”
If you read this and you’re one of the arm-hangers, change your ways. You look literally ham-fisted with your arm hanging out of the car. Both hands on the wheel! Proper following distance! Pull over to text! Keep those limbs attached!