I was at a car show this past weekend, and there were hundreds of great cars to check out. Some were drivers, some were beaters, and others were total show quality cars where the paint still looks wet.
It’s understandable that the owners of these cars don’t want anyone to touch their car. Quite often, the owner will place a sign that tells of some horrible fate that will befall you should you disregard the warning. Some signs warn that you might get beaten – or even shot – if you touch the car.
Do we take these signs seriously? For the most part, we take the “don’t touch” part seriously, but we don’t often believe that someone will come and beat us down, or shoot us, if we happen to touch their car. We might get yelled at, threatened (depending on the ego), or physically pulled away from the car, but to think someone might cause physical harm or injury over a fingerprint is hard to believe.
I’ve heard the horror stories, and have seen them, too. One friend, with an original Plymouth Superbird, now locks his car at car shows after he caught a father opening the passenger door to let his son sit in the seat for a photo op. It should go without saying that this is unacceptable, and most people would be furious.
This past weekend, I saw a young kid bend down and wipe his hand on a shiny chrome wheel because he could see himself in it. Dad just stood there smiling, letting his kid touch something that doesn’t belong to him. We can’t entirely fault the children, because it’s the parents that need to teach their children respect. So I really do get some of the “idle threats” that adorn car show signs.
But then one sign in particular caught my eye, and it infuriated me. I immediately removed all pictures of that car from my camera, and I refuse to post pictures of this car in my show coverage. Some of us might find it funny, but I’m guessing others – particularly fathers with young children – might not find it funny at all. Normally, I’ll make a joke about a sign by saying, “I touched his car three times while he wasn’t looking”, but this time it’s not a joke, and I don’t find it funny at all.
This sign took things way too far because this wasn’t just a car show, it was a family event. There were lots of children there, and they were all eager to look at the incredible engines and even read the storyboards about the cars – including all the little “Don’t Touch My Car” signs.
But this sign … I shudder to think how I would feel if I had a young child who read that sign while I was looking over the car. The modified image is to the left, and yes, it says what you first thought it said. This is a prime example of when your ego takes things way too far.
A Simple Request For Car Show Etiquette
So my request is simple: Let’s clean it up a little, shall we? Many of us want to take our children, nieces or nephews to these car shows, and we don’t want children to see these offensive signs. If you want to post that in your own garage, for your own small children to read, that’s your prerogative. But show a little class, will you? Enough with the threats; a simple “Please Don’t Touch” will get your message across just fine.