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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Texas Wave, or The Other One-Finger Wave

The Texas wave is a road greeting, usually between strangers.   It consists of lifting the index finger off the steering wheel as you cross paths with an oncoming vehicle.  You never see the Texas wave in cities, but it's universal on rural roads, at least in Texas.  I don’t know about other states.  The wave involves very little actual motion and is never accompanied by a smile or any other change in facial expression, although someone disposed to be extra-friendly might add a casual nod. 

The Texas wave is also seen on long stretches of highway in sparsely populated areas, like West Texas, where the sight of another human being is infrequent enough to trigger a gesture of polite acknowledgement. 

Of course, in the city the most common gesture is the third finger wave.  Congested traffic and frayed nerves tend to ignite more negative emotions.  But out in the country, we are still glad to see each other, if only in passing.

I'm curious - is the Texas wave common in other states?  Is there a road greeting unique to your area?

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