Aha! That title certainly got your attention, didn’t it?
Anyway, this is another local greeting phenomenon more commonly observed in whackers (newbies, probies, FNG’s, etc.).
You’re driving along in the ambulance, responding to some 911 call. The lights are going, but you’re not flying anywhere really. Just cruising along, minding your own business, chatting with your partner about what the call might be like and what you should do for lunch later. Cars are obligingly pulling over (not really stopping, but at least slowing down) in the opposite lane of traffic. Things are alright. There’s a car approaching with the red fire half-plate. You and your partner raise your fingers in the courteous three-fingered wave as the car gets closer.
All of the sudden, BLAM! The car seems to have exploded into a flashing, glowing, retina-burning display of red and white lights. Shocked, you and your partner blink several times, attempting to clear the purple spots from your vision. If your vision clears in time, you’ll note that the guy never made an attempt at pulling over.
“What in the hell was that? Did a stoplight just fall out of the sky and explode on that car, or what?” Your partner asks, rubbing his eyes.
I never did quite understand that. Yeah, I mean, I get the whole “We’re part of the same gang” thing. Kind of a new spin on “flashing your colors” I guess. But the three-fingered wave should suffice. That’s a good, solid, brief interaction where nobody gets hurt. Why throw the lights in the mix too? Did you think that maybe, if you showed you were “one of us” you wouldn’t have to pull over? It’ll take like 4 seconds, I swear. You’ll get to where you’re going at the exact same time.
While we’re having this discussion, why do you have so many lights? Are the grills lights AND dash light AND visor lights AND mirror lights AND roof-top light bar (that was meant for a truck, but you drive a sedan, so it hangs over the sides by a couple inches) really necessary? If you’re responding to a call, and the jerk driving in front of you won’t pull over for your dash light, what makes you think they’re going to pull over if you add an additional 173 lbs of lights? It’s…it’s too much. I appreciate your enthusiasm, really, I do. But you’re going a teensy bit crazy there. Relax a little. Save your month’s paycheck for food or rent instead of more light equipment.
Don’t even get me started on the personal vehicles that “blat” or “whoop” their sirens at you in addition to the light show.
Long story short (Newbies, I’m talking to you), don’t be that guy. Don’t light everything up like a Christmas tree on the Fourth of July every time you see an emergency vehicle. It’s shocking, if not scary. And maybe even dangerous. And, frankly, kind of confusing. And then jerks like me will write blog posts about it. So stop it.