Sunday, May 06, 2012

Road Courtesy

I suppose it is the English in me that makes me somewhat restrained at times.

To paraphrase Norman Lindsay's marvellous book, A Cousin from Fiji, 'as George passed by in his carriage, he did not look at those he knew. A single finger rose to acknowledge them'.

That is rather like I acknowledge a courtesy given to me on the road.  I may raise my hand, perhaps nod my head, perhaps raise my finger from the steering wheel. That is how we did it in the country......does it matter? I have acknowledged the courtesy.

But this is not how the privileged yet gauche folk from Melbourne's poshest suburbs do it. No, not at all. The car window of the 4WD Audi or 4WD BMW must be down. The driver must put most of their arm out of the car and raise it high salute. If that is insufficient, the raised hand must wave about. Just in case someone has missed it, the hand will be raised again.

All for thanking someone for letting them into the traffic stream, stream being an awkward description, as it is often a non flowing stream.

I am not sure that he started it, but celebrity John Blackman was the first person I really noticed doing this and it was quite a while ago.

Unfortunately this overt gesturing is spreading and now is often used by motorists who travel along a lane blocked by parked cars to barge into a line of patient motorists who are waiting their turn. The arm goes out to thank those who had no choice to let them in, only avoid a a low speed collision. 'Oi mate, you can see I am a really out there and confident guy in an expensive car, so I have the right'.

It is a ugly, loud, very obnoxious and horribly common and I don't like it at all.

11 comments:

  1. Do you have doilies covering your seat tops, Andrew?

    :)

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  2. Yep, i've met plenty of those obnoxious people in my time but as the saying goes what goes around comes around :-).

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  3. "Common" is it then?
    :)
    Even we hillbillies only raise a finger, maybe two, from the wheel.

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  4. I'm with you totally. I still give a slight not or raise a finger from the steering wheel for a courtesy freely given - but don't expect nor demand that courtesy...as well if a truckie makes it easy for you to pass or something like that we always flick the indicator on on the passenger side to thank him...Alison used to joke about what she calls the Toorak mums driving in these huge 4WD's and to watch out for them - now I know what she means...they own the road and thats all there is to it

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  5. No Victor, but I do dust the dashboard when sitting at traffic lights.

    Windsmoke, I don't see evidence of that.

    Rubye, Uncle Jed was a restrained sort of bloke. That is my knowledge of hillbillies.

    MC, that is the point really. You don't demand or expect. I know someone who moved out of an area bordering on Toorak because he couldn't cope with Mums in their 4WDs.

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  6. Nouveau riche, gauche... French is such a useful, nuanced language at times.

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  7. Aye FC. I like the way we pick up useful foreign words.

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  8. Isn't there a law against hanging arms out of windows? Go ahead and make a few citizens arrests.

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  9. There is indeed River, and hospital emergency departments and surgeons can testify to the dangers.

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  10. oof in South Yarra they just shove in, no wave, no eye contact, in fact the windows are so tinted it wouldn't matter if they were blowing you kisses you wouldn't see it!

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  11. Kind of home turf for me Fen, and don't I know what you say.

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