posted by dave on Monday, November 14, 2005 at 6:40 PM in category general

Okay, let's say you're stuck in rush hour traffic. Cars are lined up nose to ass as far as the eye can see. Traffic is crawling along, too fast to simply coast, but too slow to actually touch the accelerator.

Let's also say that someone in the next lane over wants to get into your lane. Maybe there's a wreck up ahead, maybe their exit is nearby. Whatever. They pull up alongside you, or maybe a little ahead of you, and they hit their turn signal.

(Turn signals, for those of you that don't know, are those doohickeys that stick out of the side of your steering column. You click the doohickey up to signal your intention and desire to turn right, and you click it down when you want to go left.)

So this person has signaled that they want to merge into your lane, ahead of you. I say let them in.

Stop or slow down, make a gap in front of your car, and let them into your lane.

Now, you may be asking, "Dave, you shithead. Why the fuck would I want to let them get into my lane?"

This is a reasonable question, and I understand why you're asking it. Except for the shithead part. That was really uncalled for.

Everybody wants to be a selfish prick when they're behind the wheel of a car. Shit, that's half the fun of having the damn thing. The other half is that you get to sing along to the radio without anyone hearing how horrible you sound.

But I digress.

The thing about letting that person cut in front of you is this: You get to be nice to them, but you still get to be a selfish prick to everyone behind you!

It's win/win!

Let's say, for argument's sake, that you don't let the poor sap in. What do you suppose he'll do?

Remember, he's a selfish prick, just like you.

He's going to drive even further ahead and he's going to try to cut in front of someone that's already way ahead of you.

Maybe that other person has read this entry, so he knows what to do. He slows down and lets the poor sap in.

What happens next is what I like to call a chain-reaction. I didn't make that term up. It's from a movie or something. I think Ted "Theodore" Logan and some hot girl were in it. That Leaving Las Vegas girl I think.

But I digress.

The guy way ahead of you taps his brakes to let the poor sap in. The guy behind him taps his brakes, and so on. By the time you get more than about four cars back from where the actual merge is taking place, those people don't know what the fuck is going on. All they see is a bunch of brakes lighting up ahead of them.

So they slam on their brakes and come to a complete stop. So does the person behind them, and the person behind them and so on and so on until you are forced to come to a stop and sit for a good thirty seconds until the traffic starts moving again.

And, while you're sitting there stopped, that merger and that mergee way up ahead - they've gone on about their merry way. They're probably already home getting laid, while you're still stuck in traffic.

You could have been that mergee!

But nooooooooooooooooooo! You couldn't take one second out of your precious life to help a fellow human being. So instead, you're getting thirty seconds stolen from you. Karma is a bitch, isn't it?

If you'd just let the poor sap in when you'd had the chance, your inconvenience would have been minimal, but you'd still have had the satisfaction of knowing that everyone behind you would suffer.

Like I said, it's win/win.

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