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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Here & Now #123 Merging right

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Here & Now 123 picS Sorrensen

Brisbane. Tuesday, 3.30pm

There is no way I will let this bugger in. No way.

This is not a recent quote from Tony Abbott or the Hungarian border police; this is my thought as I’m cruising the M3 motorway out of Brisbane.

In my mirror, I see a Nissan sedan with fat tyres and a noisy exhaust speeding up to me in the lane on my left. He’s quickly running out of lane; he has to merge right into my lane – which is chockers with traffic and moving slowly.

I’m not letting this bugger in.

Okay, I know that sounds juvenile. Being competitive on the road is just silly and leads to accidents. A good driver, like a good citizen, should just sit back, follow instructions and not make a scene. Responding to injustice (vehicular or civic) just leads to rage (road or political). And we can’t have that; it diminishes business confidence. (I don’t know what relevance business confidence has to anything, but, apparently, it is very important to everything.)

The driver, whom I can’t see through his tinted window, should have done as I did: merge into this lane when he saw the ‘merge right’ sign 500 metres back, rather than greedily roaring up the left lane – which is now quickly narrowing.

Sure, we all want to get out of Brisbane. Who wouldn’t? But a certain decorum is required. It’s called civilisation. We’re not in some backward foreign bombing range now. You can’t race to the very end of your lane, gain 200 metres on everyone else, and expect to merge as soon as you put your indicator on. I didn’t do that: I indicated when I saw the sign and a space was opened for me up by a fellow driver who appreciated my civilised consideration.

So now I’m driving at 40km/hr on a six-lane motorway, while Mr I’m Special on my left has stolen 200 metres, has run out of lane, and his indicator shows he wants in.

Well, no.

I’m sick of giving way.

Anyway, his tinted windows are illegal. They are very tinted, which is not allowed in this country. (What’s he hiding?) If you want to drive in this country, you should follow the rules. I pay taxes. I contributed to these six lanes of carbon-coughing congestion, so I not giving way to some radical with a shaved head and tatts (I’m guessing) who has bludged an easy 200 metres off us normal folk.

He’s acting tough with his loud Lukey muffler, his lowered chassis, his fat Pirelli 345s, his pink wheel trims – but all the time hiding behind his tinted window. He needs to be taught that life isn’t easy. There are no shortcuts. What if everyone wanted an extra 200 metres?

No way am I letting this bugger in.

And he has an airfoil on the boot. An airfoil. On a 2002 Nissan Altima. Yeah, like the rear end will slide out as you corner sharply into the Holland Park Centrelink carpark…

He’s trying to nose in between me and the Aussie Pooch Mobile Dog Wash trailer in front of me. No way. I close the sucker out. I too could have been 200 metres closer to home. If I jumped the queue.

The tinted window comes down.

Oh, so he wants to have a go, eh? Good luck, dude. Haven’t you seen the Superman logo on my bonnet?

The open window reveals a face – of a young woman with panicked eyes. She’s run out of lane.


She looks at me, mouths ‘Please’ and grimaces apologetically.

I make a space for her between me and Aussie Pooch Mobile.


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  1. Yeah, very juvenile. This is the kind of ‘beggar thy neighbour’ attitude I used to see when I lived in Canberra. Being a government town, public servants were always watching each other, suspicious of a colleague who got promoted up the pay scale in advance of them.They jealously guarded their positions which translated to similar attitudes on the road when refusing to allow other drivers to merge on Adelaide Avenue, Tuggy Parkway etc.
    Grow up is my advice.


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