Friday, 7 January 2011

What's Driving Me Mad Today...

After a furious session of New Year posting, I feel I should take a small step back from the political blogosphere and vent about something a little more mundane. I drive. You probably drive too. This one is about just that. Driving, or more specifically, drivers.

Driving can be quite enjoyable, given the right blend of company, car, scenery, and music. In my mind I am picturing something approaching a Martini advertisement. But we can't all slalom around the Italian countryside in Ferraris with Charlize Theron/Brad Pitt/Ian Hislop (chac'un à son goût) in the passenger seat; so for most of us driving is rubbish.

It revolves around traffic. More likely than the Martini advertisement, for company you will either be bored on your own or, for the parents among you, with horrible screaming children for company. The car is probably not your dream car but represents the life/money compromises you wish you didn't have to make. The scenery will be litter being discarded onto the verge of said highway by the local ASBO brigade. The music will be some brainless berk on the radio.

However, I can deal with all of this as long as something else remains - a modicum of manners. I'm not asking for doffed caps and waved hankies, but when I let someone in and they don't thank me, I don't think it a total over-reaction to wish I had heat-seeking missiles mounted on my bonnet.

Is it because of the isolation one is afforded inside the protective shell of their own car that people feel detached enough to be rude? I wonder if the same people are as rude on a pavement, in a shop, in a restaurant. It's pretty easy to stick your hand up in thanks or flash your hazard lights. It's probably a small step too far to suggest this is representative of the crumbling of the moral fabric of society, but manners maketh the man; remember that next time someone lets you in.

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