I often ponder what cars may have to say to one another, or for that matter to us, other than "HONK!"

I often ponder what cars may have to say to one another, or for that matter to us, other than "HONK!"


Were they able, I’d guess our vehicles may reserve a certain enmity for the creators who saw fit to adorn them with naught but such an inexpressive exclamation of self-expression.


Honk goes the horn when the car’s driver is impatient; the loud burst of air is suddenly summoned only to arrest the attention of other drivers. Honk goes the horn when the driver is in distress or fear. But apart from an all-too-easily ignored creaking of its axles or squealing of its errant belt, with what sound may a poorly cared for pickup express itself, or draw attention to its malnourishment of oil or the degradation of its delicate filters?


Of course, every vehicle’s horn has its own distinct aural shape, the warp and warble of which sets the bellowing baritone of a big rig apart from the sharp whistle of a tiny cabriolet. Even the horn most accurate to its car, most evocative of the personality both of driver and vehicle, still provides only one sound for every conceivable road circumstance.


I’ve noticed some drivers, myself among them, creatively manipulating the one available horn sound in an effort to discover new avenues of vehicular sound expression. Still, a soft, staccato "H-h-h-h-onk," (accomplished by lightly and repeatedly tapping on the horn with one’s closed fist) is just a honk with a speech impediment, while the precipice-of-road-rage, 10-second blaring honk is simply an uncouth piece of rudeness unfit for society in the South.


My proposal is simple: a small organ inside the car, operated by a tiny keyboard on the steering wheel, to let drivers shape the pitch, tone and even key of their honks. Every organ would also be equipped with a wah-wah trumpet sound to express disappointment or regret about a driving decision and a triumphant fanfare to indicate driving success.


Some may say it’s an unnecessary distraction, or even a wasteful use of resources, but I implore you: who in this moment would think of concerns utilitarian or monetary? Won’t someone please think of the cars?


Happy birthday Thursday to Darrell Benedict, Larry G. Blevins, Rylan Clark, Thelma Jo Davis and Doris Weller, all of Sherman; Jodie Garner and Barbara Simpson, both of Denison; Karen Christie Parker of Lago Vista, Texas; Lou McCorkle of Carpenter’s Bluff; Rosa Ham of Tom Bean; Raquel Lucas of Anna.


Happy anniversary Thursday to Royce and Linda Melton of Whitesboro, 44 years; Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Nichols of Van Alstyne, 21 years; Byrle and Gail White of Southmayd, 15 years.