What Happened To You Melbourne?

Posted: August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

You Used To Be Cool!

I have been travelling a lot in peak hour lately, and I have been secretly surveying the driving habits of Melburnians everywhere. And, when I say everywhere I mean…well…the people who live on the same side of the city as me and travel the same route to work.

I have tabled the results of the survey and using some fantastic, scientifical methods I have come up with something I call… results.

I have done also all this to coincide quite brilliantly with the moment that K-Rudd decided to make cigarettes a luxury item that requires you to re-mortgage your house every time you want a pack. Maybe more on that later and by later I mean next month, possibly the one after, or…you get the idea. The upshot is that I can’t afford to smoke anymore.

As it turns out, I am not the most patient and reasonable man in the world and I will never be mistaken for the Dalai Lama. So we come to the results. How do I put this politely, without offending anyone? Hmmm….bollocks to it.

You’re all shit, I hate every last one of you and you should all be killed.

Any regular readers of my column will know that last year before Christmas I wrote an article on things I would like you all to do before and whilst driving. If you did in fact read this article it appears that you have either forgotten all it said or you’ve chosen to ignore its advice altogether. Either way, don’t be surprised if one morning soon a tallish tattooed man punches you forcefully in the face. It may or may not be me but I’m pretty sure you will have deserved it.

I am now at the point where I’m starting to think that in some situations road rage should be encouraged and rewarded. Something along the lines of this:

Angry Man: “I chased down and killed a person who cut across three lanes of peak hour traffic, causing untold chaos, all because they realised they were in the wrong lane and didn’t want to go another two hundred metres where they could safely make a U-turn.”

Road Rage Encouragement Committee: “Excellent sir, have $200 and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).”

As an aside, I remember when I first started driving, some years ago, if you came along someone doing 80 km/h in a 100 km/h zone the trick was to get as close to the back of them as you possibly could and start flashing your high beams vigorously. If it was daylight you could also thrust your arm out the window, (opening it first), and shake your fist in their general direction. What would happen then was that they would either realise their error and speed up or, get freaked out, crash and die. Either outcome was totally acceptable.

What happens now is that people just sigh and accept the fact they are now stuck behind someone who is doing 20 km/h below the legal limit. If you even think about trying the above method you are treated as some sort of social pariah instead of the OAM worthy hero you really are. People are more likely to spit on you in the street when they should be offering you opportunities to speak to high school students at morning assemblies. What the hell has happened to us?

There are basic driving activities that people just don’t seem to be able to come to grips with. Take merging for instance. Why can’t people do it? Why do people stay in the left-most lane when they can clearly see people are trying to merge? Are you all that friggin’ stupid?

When merging onto a freeway, match your speed to that of the cars that are already travelling in the lane you want to be in. Once your speed is the same as the car beside you it becomes a simple sideways motion, easy. There is no need to stop and wait for a gap. There is no need to merge as soon as the line becomes dotted. Chances are there will be ample space for you to match your speed. Do you think there’s a chance that’s why freeway entrance ramps are downhill? Yes, I am aware that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and I don’t care one bit.

When driving on a freeway an important thing to remember is that where there’s an off-ramp, there’s usually an on-ramp. If you are travelling in the left hand lane and spot an off-ramp, try and move one lane across. This will keep the lane free and help the other idiots who are freaking out, trying to get onto the actual freeway.

In peak hour traffic what benefit does one get from sitting as close to the back of the car in front as possible? The ‘scare-them-into-submission’ method does not work in peak hour traffic. The trick here is to back right off until you have two or three seconds space. Then when they brake, you lift off the accelerator, when they come off the brake you speed up again. Repeat as necessary. Trust me. By doing this the only time you will touch your own brakes is when you arrive at a red traffic light. You will be much calmer when you arrive at your destination and you could smugly walk past that Prius owner knowing that by not touching the brakes you have driven your vehicle in the most efficient method possible. After doing this, punch them in the face. for being a pratt.

There are plenty of other methods I could explain to you but, you didn’t listen last time so what chance is there now that you’ll listen this time? If you don’t mind, I’ll just go on hating you all from afar.

I should probably mention, in the spirit of responsible journalism, that road rage is shit. If you actually get to the point where you get out of the car and feel the need to punch someone, then, punch yourself. Hard, in the mouth.

This article first appeared in the June 2010 issue of The King’s Tribune.

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