Thursday, March 12, 2015

     If you have ever had too much coffee and gotten stuck in a traffic backup merge situation, you know the frustration. Currently, there is construction on both sides of a local road that happens to be the only way to get anywhere in town from our home. We all know about this construction, as it has been going on for over two months, and it promises to continue for at least another two to three. The common sense strategy for any outing, therefore, is to allow at least an additional 15 minutes (and take appropriate medication in advance). Do people do that? Of course not. We all take our chances and head out hoping not to get caught in the backup.

    Coming home is the issue. At least a half mile before you have to merge, there are large signs that say “MERGE LEFT.” Now I know that there are some drivers who can’t read or are thumb-engrossed so they don’t notice signs one or two. One would think, however, by the time the third sign looms in front of them, they would notice and begin merging left. Fat chance. Yesterday, I counted at least 25 cars who deliberately stayed in the right lane assuming they could just butt in at the merge site. For those of us rule followers who merged in plenty of time, watching these arrogant drivers bully their way into our lane is nothing short of infuriating. My common sense tells me to “chill,” and just deal with it, but my sense of what’s right and my perception of fairness takes on the “No way, jerk, you’re not cutting in here” attitude. As I sat stewing and clenching my teeth, I debated between getting out of my car and physically blocking the right lane and moving my car into the lane so they couldn’t pass. The last time this happened, a large truck did pull into the right lane, and drivers were forced to merge after the first sign. 

     Weighing the pros and cons of option one (Get out of car and stand in lane), I saw a headline flash before my eyes: “Blond granny in stilettos struck down by late model Escalade while seeking traffic justice.” This kind of attention I do not need in my late years. Option two:  (Move my vehicle into the right lane to block arrogant drivers) This option was also risky. Some idiot curmudgeon in a Town Car might just get annoyed and plow right into me. This would not be good, as I know hundreds of expletives would escape from my pie hole as I pounded the hood of his Old-mobile. So what do I do? I continue to clench my teeth, mutter profanities and wave my arms in the air in a feckless attempt to express my rage. 
     Moral of story:  Do not drink coffee, and consider taking a bag of nails with me on my next outing.