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Picture it: you are driving in the far left lane of the highway; you are going the speed limit or a few mph over. The merging entering lane to your right is soon to end. You see in your rearview mirror some Jehu driving behind you coming up fast.  Logic says the driver should move into the middle lane, passing you on your left, and finishing the pass by pulling in front of you to continue his apparently necessary furious pace.  What he does actually is drive up behind you, passing you on your right using the ever dwindling merger lane to get around you that way, nearly causing a collision as the two lanes merge into one.   He drives off no doubt thinking ill will of you for going too slow and getting in his way.

Another curious local tribal custom is cars in the far right lane making a sudden highway exit crossing quickly 2-3 lanes to make the exit.

I witness these sorts of shenanigans nearly every morning while commuting to work. When I first moved to Arizona I thought everyone on the road here had gone crazy. After 10 years they have not mellowed.

I stay in the far left lane as much as I can to let everyone rush by me hell-bent on getting to work as quickly as possible without regard to traffic rules and safety. Thems who rush up my backside going well over the speed limit I can feel their wrath as they pass me on either side.  I confess I get a small ping of passive-aggressive comfort knowing they had to slow down and swerve thus raising their stress hormones just a tad higher towards premature death.

I am nearly always the ‘bottom’ in road rage intercourse but there are times I am the ‘top’ swerving around the slow poke with malice of thought. In my defense these villains are nearly always going below the speed limit. I always pass on the right, having a vague recollection from driving school this is the proper way to do things. I glance at the drivers as I pass and nine times out of ten they are not elderly or anxious-looking as assumed but gabbing on their cellphones. This burns my burrito and raises my DBP. If there is a hell I hope for a special circle for aggressive drivers but thems on their cellphones may go directly to Dante #9.

The state of Arizona recently made it illegal to drive and text at the same time. This is sensible but quaint as it will do no good. Human nature being what it is everyone believes everyone else is a boob-on-wheels but they do fine – even when texting. Oh the pain.

Sometimes I am tempted to take the ‘if you can’t beat’em join’em” approach. I vow to cling to dignity and a sense of propriety by obeying traffic laws, no-texting while driving, and thinking good thoughts to my fellow highwaymen. The latter is the most challenging.

Spo-fans: take comfort these sorts of shenanigans don’t happen in your neck of the woods.

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