What is with everyone waving at you all the time? Just today I saw a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty waving at everyone, holding a sign advertising a tax preparation business with “liberty” in its name; two extremely happy-to-be-alive individuals waving and dancing as they held very large arrows pointing drivers to the new homes builder’s offices; and a sweet fellow with Down Syndrome who waves to every passerby as he waits for his bus. At least, I think he’s waiting for a bus. Perhaps he just considers it a public service.
Then there are the giant inflatable Things that wave. Giant inflatable things that don’t wave are bad enough, like those wretched snow globes with Disney characters inside that populate front lawns during the holidays. But the giant waving gorilla (surely he’s waving; surely no businessman in his right mind would have a gorilla making a menacing gesture as an advertising icon), not to mention the ubiquitous Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man, are just too obnoxious for words:
Here in Florida, before every local election, we get candidates standing on busy street corners waving at the traffic. They always wear these enormous smiles, as if there is no greater joy in life than inhaling exhaust fumes. I find myself wishing just one of them would step into traffic by accident.
The only perennial waver I liked was the old guy in rural Vermont who spent several hours every day sitting by the road in a lawn chair, waving at every car he saw. His wave was short and terse, a sharp salute at the wrist, with a nearly imperceptible nod of the head: a taciturn acknowledgment that we’re all in this together.
And that’s something that Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man just can’t offer.