Monday, February 21, 2005


From the Miami Herald:

On a February afternoon, five high school students lounged patiently on a bus-stop bench in Westchester.

Lino Alvarado Jr. slowed his truck to a crawl, smiled and unleashed more than 150 decibels of sound from a dozen train horns attached to his truck’s undercarriage.

“Did you see those kids flinch?” Alvarado, 20, said as he breezed through a stop sign. “But old people are even better.”

The students were blasted by one of the area’s hottest vehicle customization trends.

A good set of train horns costs about $1,000 and packs an audio punch that can reach hundreds of feet — to the delight of people who buy them, and to the dismay of residents, who are complaining to police.

“It’s outrageous and inconsiderate that people blow these horns, and the state should ban these things,” said Morris Sunshine, who lives in South Beach. “This is merely a pitiful search for instant celebrity.”

Police departments in some cities are stepping up efforts to track down and ticket those blowing the horns. In Miami Beach, police have even arrested one man for blasting his, and intend to arrest more.

Alvarado has received dozens of tickets, spending hundreds of dollars to pay them, but he believes it’s worth it.

“It’s competition on the street, like when a guy in a truck passes by, he honks his horn, and I honk mine back,” he said. “The next time I see him, he doesn’t honk his, because he knows mine are bigger and louder.”…

Actually, what the little bastard probably needs is a bottle of Viagra. And I’m guessing “little” is the operative adjective here.