Tuesday 28 September 2021

And We All Shine On

 I've said before that I like Englishness and the national psyche, but there is one area where it runs against our own best interests. In queueing traffic where two lanes need to merge into one nobody wants to be seen to be jumping the queue and moral busybodies will police that behaviour. This means that over time the merge point migrates backwards until you have everybody treating a section of dual carriageway as though there were only one lane because of politeness. There was a time when large sections of the A38 were being resurfaced and it gridlocked because of overly polite merge discipline. It was cured (or considerably alleviated) by signs that said "QUEUE IN BOTH LANES. MERGE IN TURN".

On Saturday I found myself in one of these areas of road which I was legally allowed to drive down, but which social norms forbade. Since once owning a large, slow and comfortable car I've got quite good at not hurrying on the road. In this particular instance it was reinforced by the fact that my car is completely gutless, that petrol is hard to come by and so I was conserving it and that there was a cardboard cup full of a soft drink wedged into the centre console.

A car to my left loudly and harshly matched my speed and position so that I couldn't merge into the left lane either in front of or behind him. Little did he know I would never have pressed the brakes that harshly. I found my way into the left hand lane a couple of spots ahead of him.

It must have upset the other driver because when we got to the next bit of dual carriageway he overtook my very aggressively and pulled in very close in front of me. The next car to overtake me was a police car with lights and sirens and that pulled in very close in front of me too. The police car then stopped the aggressive driver. I overtook both and I went slowly on my way.

I don't know, but I assume the aggressive driver was wanted for some other reason. I don't think the police saw him policing my merge discipline, and I don't think his retaliatory overtake would have got him pulled over. I can't however help feeling a warm sense of vindication.

Richard "Instant karma's gonna get you" B

No comments:

Post a Comment