The Rockefeller Salute


Can't We All Just Get Along?
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Lovely Day In The Neighborhood
Lovely Day In The Neighborhood
Aaaah! More Neighborhood!
Aaaah! More Neighborhood!
The Enos River
The Enos River

The Bird

I was riding my bicycle over Enos Mountain today. I pulled over off the road and took a picture of a pretty, rural scene. I then proceeded toward the intersection preparing to stop. A Volvo station-wagon appeared out of nowhere. Without any regard to me, it pulled right in front of me, pretty much ignored the stop sign, hardly slowed down, and sped away.

Naturally feeling the warmth of the sun, the moment, the kinship of my fellow man I wanted to say "hi". I wanted to say, "I love you brother".

However, when my hand went up, three fingers and a thumb went down and only one finger remained.

The driver quickly pointed out that I shouldn't be on his road and referred to me as "Ass-hole". I wasn't even aware that he knew me.

Imagine my surprise upon realizing that I had given a negative gesture to my fellow man. I didn't want to do this. I probably had a seizure of some sort.

This signal that was perpetrated by my right hand was not my intention. I wanted to have a conversation with my "brother of the Volvo". I may have wanted to give him some driving advice and wish him well on his journey today. But, there was no time. I suppose he was late to something very important and I certainly didn't want to delay him further.

How does one convey, quickly, that a motorized driver may have used poor judgment?

But, my hand was out of control. Can a person be blamed for what's done by his hand, as it was clearly a knee jerk reaction? Okay, so maybe it was more of an elbow/wrist reaction, but still, an uncontrollable gesture considering the time involved.

In 1994, Tom Hritz of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) (Oct. 25) wrote, “The right to bear arms and fingers” . "After Kimberly flashed the one-fingered peace sign at a fellow motorist last week, she was cited for disorderly conduct, found guilty by a district justice and fined $170.…Do you really think the constitutional framers had the finger in mind when they wrote the First Amendment?"

Is this sign really this obscene? Do we not need a revision of sorts here? Lord knows I want my finger as far away from this person as possible. I certainly do not wish my finger to be used as some may interpret the gesture.

United States Vice President Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979) made the gesture to hecklers in 1976 at a campaign stop in Binghamton, NY. Thus, “the finger,” “the bird,” “the one-finger salute”, “the one-finger peace sign”, the "flipping of someone off", the "Canadian turn signal", was re-dubbed the Rockefeller salute.

Was Nelson fined $170?

In 1968, the USS Pueblo was captured by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. In photos published by the DPRK, crew members were photographed giving the finger. When their guards noticed this, the gesture was explained as a Hawaiian Good Luck Sign.

So when I was cut short at the stop sign/intersection, and the driver sped away without stopping, I could have been fined for waving the Hawaiian Good Luck Sign?

What is the hurry? Why cut in front of a cyclist, endanger the cyclist, be rude to the cyclist, run a stop sign, and violate several laws?

I live "here" so I'll talk about "here". America is in a hurry. We are too busy to plan ahead. Maybe the "Hawaiian Good Luck Sign" recipient got up late, had a late breakfast, or a "quicky" before heading out to the "salt mines" at about 11 AM.

Was his time so crimped and taken up, that he speeds through everything? Hence the "quicky"?

Was I being blamed for his impatience? Was he in haste to be at work, at play, or to have sex?

Leaving earlier and to have consideration for another person, would be too much to expect.

I put it to you- if this American can't drive safely, have concern for my welfare, and safety on the highways, how could he give a flip about health care for anybody?

I put it to you- if Obama or anyone does enough about the "un-healthy care" in America, he will be murdered. This is money we're talking about and it seems nothing is more important to a full blooded capitalist American.

Many of you will say nay.

There are conspiracies about hunting on someone's property. There are conspiracies about taking your property. There are conspiracies about the most mundane things in life.

Believe- there are conspiracies about money and lots conspiracies about lots of money.

Fellow bicycle riders recently had a gun pulled on them while riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have had at least one gun pulled on me, and twice I was told that the people to whom I was talking, had guns on them, and if I were to ride here or there, I would be killed. Twice more, I knew that the people, in my presence, had guns and had no qualms about killing me. This wasn't in Vietnam. This was in America.

I called a friend last week about having a rendezvous at a bike ride and I would buy some bike chains, tubes, and such. He asked that I call the next day as he was in route to a funeral. A friend was summoned to a home where his daughter was in the company of an abusive step-father. The "step-father" started a fight that he couldn't win. After losing the encounter, he went to his car and got his gun. So, the father is dead. He stood up for his daughter and ex-wife. He was lured into a fight that evil would win.

I ask God "why?" But it is the nature of "cowboy America", to hold all the cards, and "stack the deck". It is the nature of the world, I suppose, to have the "upper hand", and "stack the deck".

So fellow Americans, be careful of the lures that are cast to draw you into an altercation. The "decks are stacked". There are no winners. Cheaters may have that last smirk, but cheaters don't win. They cheat. They lure. They smirk.

"The finger" has been called "the universal sign of disrespect", but it is not universal.

An alternative is the reverse V sign used often in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Another alternative is the Iberian slap which is a gesture involving raising a fist and slapping the bicep on the same arm as the fist used. This is too difficult to use while riding a bicycle.

In Greece the five fingers are spread wide and the palm is pushed towards someone in a gesture known as the Moutza.

In some African and Caribbean countries, a similarly obscene gesture is extending all five digits with the palm facing forward, meaning "you have five fathers" (thus calling someone a bastard).

Perhaps this should be the "universal sign", from cyclists, to all motorists who continue with their highway mayhem in the names of haste and hate.

They will never "get the message" anyway.

Comments 35 comments

Brynda 7 years ago

I'm glad you had self control. You are so right. I will buy and promote your first book!

me 7 years ago

Sometimes it happened to me, too.

Admitting no true willingness to show the finger, I would call it the gestural Turrett's syndrome

Anthony 7 years ago

as im a new zealander, I always use the Reverse V,

and the middle finger, though since I live in the spanish area of Christchurch I also do the Iberian Slap to drivers with no respect to pedestreins.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 7 years ago Author

Thanks Anthony. I appreciate you stopping by. Happy trails.

ralwus 7 years ago

It is a dangerous world out there. I can't believe in a system that would fine the finger. I even heard some places have made truck nutz illegal. I have had a finger problem as well. Be safe dude.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 7 years ago Author

It is an uncontrollable "tic". Thanks Ralwus for stopping by.

mel22 profile image

mel22 7 years ago from ,

Well there used to be the saying SH%T happens.. I guess 'tics' happen too. I have been the victim of occasional uncontrollable 'tics' happening.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 7 years ago Author

Hi Mel. It's almost like saying hi! You know I really don't want to. It's a lack of faith in God or karma or dogma or whatever. I just don't see folks getting educated adequately right now.

Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

Hehehehee...uncontrollable tic....people are all in a hurry to get nowhere fast. I had two 'tics' at once, after a swerving car left me no option but to push my babystroller into a gully-both kiddos inside-to get them out of the way of this vehicle! Remembering that day..I think I shook both "tics" wishing I could be superwoman and chase the car and show them more than meaningless tics!

People are just way too in a hurry to get nowhere. (Oh, I would have got fined double for double digits?)

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I looking for some "anti-tic powder or spray". Something is wrong with a society that thinks of itself as the best in the world as is in a hurry to go to heck. Thanks Ghost Whisper

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hehe, it happens sometimes but I never done that must be fun doing that sign hehe.. Can I do it too? Take care, Now I see the scenery around the area,

People are just hateful like them Mick, am glad you're not one of them, Maita

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Maita. I'm glad you're such a nice person. You are too cool!

Drwibble profile image

Drwibble 6 years ago from UK

Normally, encounters with people pulling out in front, I just shake my head in disapproval. The ones which get on my nerve are where a car overtakes then immediately cuts across to pull up a side street. The thing is we tend to remember just the car drivers that are dangerous rather than the good ones.

I quite like the urban myth on the origins of the British V sign, It came from the archers who fought in the 100 Years War against France. "It was a means of telling your opponent that you were still capable of drawing a bow string back, as you still had two fingers!"

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Drwibble that is so cool. I wouldn't have known. I do shake my head a lot. It probably has a better long run effect. Yes- so many drivers pass just to turn right in front of you. Thanks for your comments. I'll get over your way soon.

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I shake my head too when cut up on the road. I have give cycling as it is just too dangerous on the narrow roads where I live. Interesting comment from Drwibble about the V sign. Who'd a thought it!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Gypsy Willow for stopping by and commenting. Too many quit cycling because our own drivers make it seem crazy. Thank you.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

It's amazing how stupid people can be behind the wheel. Sometimes I wished that there were more bikes on the road, but that would only INCREASE the stupidity not minimize it. Micky, you'd like it in Holland unless you hate rain, my overseas fellow citizens are born with a bike attached to them- but you probably already knew that.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yes, Alexander Mark. I love Europe. I love Holland. I love France. My love is mostly influenced by the love the Europeans show to cyclists. We went to the Netherlands looking for Holland (badumpbump). I rode Paris-Brest-Paris and afterward we went to Amsterjam! It's a way of life -the bicycle. I do love Holland. Thanks for the memories!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I hope to bicycle across Europe myself someday, thanks for the inspiration.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Look up- try to find a website by Mark Boyd. He has hundreds of webpages about touring and maybe hundreds about bike touring in Europe. He is a wealth of information If you cannot find it I will. His site has to be of help. Thanks

DeeGee 6 years ago

Who shot whom? Tell me when I get back.

lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

Such intriguing history. I personally love the two fingered peace sign, it generally is my principle mode of long distance interaction.

"Imagine my surprise upon realizing that I had given a negative gesture to my fellow man."

Surprise, surprise. I've seen this occur before. People can become flushed with anger and sometimes all else short circuits. You've lived to tell the tale, to give us some knowledge, and learn that Volvo people can be evil. ;)

Wonderful addition here to HP, thanks!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Ixxy! Fingers do have a message. I think about that open handed one but I really don't feel up to insulting anyone. I have a knack though. I'm working on it. I'll work harder. Thank you!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Guess I missed seeing Rockefeller give his "salute." Will think of this terminology if I ever see it flashed again. Stay safe out there Micky!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Peggy. It doesn't do much good to "salute". I appreciate you Dear! Thank you very much!

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Micky are you familiar with a show called Flight of the Chonchords ? I hope so it is a hilarious comedy from New Zealand and they have a whole episode about trying to teach Kiwis the bird - it is hilarious - in the end they get it and of course give it to the Australian consulate in NY - a little Aussie Kiwi rivalry there - but hilarious.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Billy. I've not heard of that movie but now I have to get it! Thanks Bud!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your story is scary, some people just can,t be nice, esp. the ones who can afford a valvo.I like the way you tell it like it is, stay safe.

God,s Blessing,s

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Always Exploring! There's too much anger today. Thank you Dear!

ghost whisper 77 6 years ago

Please don't give me the Rockefeller tic salute--I love you!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I won't give you that salute Ghost! I love you too.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

My brotherman, that salute is perhaps all we have when faced with idiots like the Ovlov driver! I know, I have the tic too! I'm trying to control it but it comes out every now and then when someone does something thoughtless like that.

Keep your coll and stay alive, my brother. Too much road rage around.

Love and peace


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I love you Tony! God bless my brother!

zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Cool hub brother, I like to smile and stick my tongue out at people who do that to me! It's a great feeling!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

I might ought to do that. I might save a finger.

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