SAVE THE WAVE
With all the discussion about ‘The Wave’ going on, I dug out an article from “Corvette News”. Corvette News, in the beginning, was a FREE publication sent out by Chevrolet to Corvette owners. A great magazine whose origin goes all the way back to 1957 (the first edition, BTW, is quite a collectors item as you may well imagine.) The particular article, called “Save the Wave”, which I am quoting, appeared in the August/September 1969, Volume 12, Number 6 — *please* keep that in mind. Not only will you see that our fellow Corvette owners worried about carrying on the ‘tradition’ of ‘The Wave’, you’ll see that times were simpler and that writing styles have changed ;^)
SAVE THE WAVE
Ever since Corvette No. 00001 first met Corvette No. 00002 on the road, their drivers saluted each other with waves. Today, unfortunately, this grand and glorious tradition is wavering. There’s one item of standard equipment that comes as a pleasant surprise to every new Corvette owner. It’s the instant wave of recognition he receives when he meets one of his ilk on the road. The first time it happens, he is taken by surprise. He immediately thinks: (1) he has been mistaken for Sterling Moss; (2) His lights are on; or (3) He has just been given the bird. Soon, however, the new Vette owner anticipates, indeed even relishes, en- countering other Vettes as he drives. During this period, he experiments with his waves, running the gamut from the gaping “yoo hoo” to the ultra-cool “two- finger flip.” He perfects his timing, making sure he affects neither the too- eager, too-early wave, nor the jaded “oh brother” too-late variety. Determined not to be one upped, he even develops a defense mechanism for non-wavers, usually settling on the “Wave? My hand was just on the way to scratch my head” approach. (This is especially useful when you’re not driving your Vette, but you forget, and like a dummy, wave anyway.) Indeed, one of the most perplexing problems facing a would-be waver is what to do when driving next to a fellow Vette owner. Passing him going in opposite directions is one thing. Greetings are exchanged, and that’s that. But what happens when you pull up next to a guy at a light, wave, nod, smile and then pull up next to him at the next light, a block later? Wave again? Nod bash- fully? Grin self-consciously? Ignore him? Or take the chicken’s way out and turn down the next side street? If you’re expecting an answer, you won’t find it here. Sad to say, some questions don’t have any. Girl-type Corvette drivers also have a unique problem: to wave or not to wave. The miss or misses who borrows her man’s Corvette for the first time is immediately faced with this quandary. Should she wave first and look overly friendly, or ignore the wave and look like a snob? Most ladies who drive their own Vettes prefer to suffer the latter rather than take the chance of being misread. For this reason, all girls are excused for occasionally failing to return a well-meaning wave. So are new owners who are still learning the ropes. There is no excuse, however, for the guy who refuses to return a wave, not out of ignorance, but of arrogance or apathy. While this type of behavior is the exception to the rule, it seems that a few owners of newer models [ remember, this was 25 years ago, 1969 :^) — Phil ] refuse to recognize anything older than theirs, while some others simply won’t wave, period. Boo on them. These ding-a-lings don’t seem to realize that they are helping to quash a tradition that had its beginnings back when most of us were still driving Tootsietoys. And besides, in this era of mechanized anonymity, we need to save all the human relationships we can. What to do about the problem of non-wavers? Well, in the movie “The Hustler,” Fast Eddie had his hands broken for not playing by the rules. But, maybe this is going just a bit too far. Maybe the solution is to cure these guys with kindness. So, take a look at these drawings and pick a wave you like. Then, the next time you pass a fellow Vetteran, make sure you use it. And the next time. And the next. Who knows? If you don’t succeed in getting some of these hard-noses to wave back, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve started a lot of them thinking. And that alone is worth a wave. [ Unfortunately, my ASCII art is far below that which would be required to recreate the cartoon characters demonstrating the different waves, so you’ll just have to imagine them ;^) ] [ Man shown with steering wheel in left hand, right arm straight up, mouth open! ] The Gaping “Yoo Hoo!” – Good for waving at Vettes on the other side of divided highways, in medium-to-heavy traffic. Not much good for anything else. The Two-Finger Flip – A move that can say “Hi.” Or “Wow!” Or “Victory.” Or most anything else, depending on the action of the giver, and the reaction of the taker. The Four-Finger Pop-up – One of the classics. Palm grasps top of wheel, while fingers are extended snappily. An inscrutable expression helps the total effect. [ Man with hands a 11 and 1 o’clock, thumbs around wheel, all fingers up ] The Eight-Point Spread – Broad, expansive and outgoing. The hand action is reminiscent of Al Jolson at his best. The Pointer – Sort of a wink, a click and a “bang, you’re dead!” combination. Can also be used to draw attention to a pursuing traffic cop, in which case, you are dead. The Wiping Swipe – Sort of a “Hi, guys.” Primarily given by patronizing father-figure types. The Topper-Tipper – A rarely seen, but eloquent gesture. Can prove embarrassing when the tipper wears both a hat and a toupee. The Right-Handed “Hi-G’Bye.” – A desperation move, given only at the last minute. Hand shoots straight skyward, occasionally scrunching fingernails or knuckles in the process. The Near-Futile Head Jerk – A last resort, when you think you’ll be snubbed, but aren’t; or when you think you haven’t been daydreaming, but have. [ Rear view of man, left arm dangling out the window. ] The Last-Minute Left Elbow Grope – Another desperation tactic, usually seen only in rear-view mirrors. Has all the grace and finesse of a peg-legged man in a forest fire.