Right Lane Ends

You know when lanes go like this?:

What, exactly, is the thinking behind that? Are the planners envisioning some idyllic, utopian world where people will yield and merge one by one while beaming and singing operatic arias? Did they not realize that, in the real world, this type of set-up is an open invitation for assholes to keep the pedal to the floor and go screaming right up to the very end of the ending lane and then gesture helplessly to everyone else to let them in because OOPS! there's suddenly no more road! While the people in the other lane who have dutifully waited to be able to proceed sit there viewing the over-entitled instant-gratification-seeking asshats on the right with an icy hatred that threatens to bubble over into murderous rage at any second, resulting in an unspeakably grisly inside-outing of steel, fibre glass and Standard Canadian Jerk-Brain.

Or maybe that's just me?

Are you a wait-er or a speed-er to the front of the ending lane? Am I being oversensitive and intolerant? I am distressingly susceptible to road rage, for such a mild-mannered individual (snort). I always wonder what's going through the minds of people who pull this trick -- is there a possibility that they're NOT all inconsiderate shitheads? Do they just need a little love and understanding? Is this actually the way it's supposed to be done? Is it just my insipid little rule-follower persona that leads me to stay demurely in the left lane, letting everyone ram their way in front of me? Should I free myself to become a blaze-to-the-front beeyotch?

Ain't gonna happen. And those meatheads who keep pressing their luck squeaking by my front bumper? Squeak at your own risk. You're in imminent and grave danger of being sworn at. Well, berated severely without excessive profanity, if my kids are in the van. You've been warned.

And now, to distract you from the navel-gazing inconsequentiality of this post, a bright shiny Funny Eve Story:

Last night Eve came home from Farm Camp full of stories about brushing calves, feeding cows, documenting the bathroom habits of various farm animals and who got how many cubes of cantaloupe. She spent the evening while Angus was at baseball practice rearranging her room and making shelves out of kleenex boxes (I'm conflicted: I'm all for recycling and reusing, but man, kleenex shelves are really ugly). Angus came home with a friend from baseball who was sleeping over and I said I'd make popcorn for everyone. Our microwave is really, really old. If I have to pop two bags of popcorn in a row (yes, sometimes I feed my kids fake chemi-corn, I'll say ten Hail Marys and make a donation to Greenpeace later as soon as I'm done this) the microwave has to have a little nap - the display goes blank for a while, then pops back up as if nothing ever happened. And yes, we ARE the kind of people who manage to convince ourselves that this is a perfectly normal way for an appliance to behave -- we hate shopping that much. So Eve came down for her popcorn and asked me to put some butter on it. I explained the situation with the microwave and told her it should be working again in a few minutes, and she went away. A few minutes later, I saw that the display was on again so I called upstairs:

Me: "Eve, do you have any popcorn left?"
Eve: "Yeah."
Me: "Bring it down here then."
Eve: "Why?"
Me: (in an exasperated tone, as she walks down into the kitchen) "Whydya THINK? You just asked me for butter on your popcorn and then I tell you to bring your popcorn back? I mean seriously -- aren't you supposed to be the smart one?" (it came out less mean in real life).
Eve: (haughtily, after having the butter poured onto her popcorn): "Well...I will leave with my pride AND my popcorn." (starts to leave, turns back while looking at the kitchen counter): "...and, if I'm allowed, can I also leave with some mini-Oreos?"


I'm one of those people that drive to the end of the lane and merge in. That is what we're supposed to do is it not? I don't gesture though - I just merge in. Ta-da!

Actually I find that these lanes work better in some areas than in others. Here in Vancouver, I really haven't had any issue with them. In other cities that's not always the case.
the queen said…
In Saint Louis, I always allow one person in early on, before the end of the lane, so that exempts me from letting any end of the lane people. Instead, I stare them down haughtily.

However, then one time I drove in Toronto I noticed Canada has differebt rulles. I got the hang of "merging" by tucking the edge of my bumper between cars in the next lane and driving without making eye contact. In Saint Louis you pantomime your merge request to the other drivers and get their non verbal approval before merging.

And sorry to hear Eve has her period. Oreos and buttered popcorn, what other reason could there be?
Shan said…
That is the best story I've heard today. Pure awesome.
Anonymous said…
I love Eve. Also the worst, worst, worst cluster f#ck of merging lane craziness in all of Ottawa is when you are on the westbound Queensway and the off ramp to Bronson shares an on ramp from Metcalfe, what the eff! Reading this post made me think of that and every time I have to use either of them I always wonder if the city engineer was drunk that day! I am stressed just thinking of it and might have just yelled "Out of my way asshole" to my husband that is how road rageful I am. He of course is wondering what the hell is wrong with me. -sigh-
Fame Throwa said…
Bibliomama, if I told you how much I seethe at the problems with ending right lanes, you'd have me committed.

Akin to your frustration is an even BIGGER frustration I have with the whole set up:

The dude who thinks he's being POLITE when he stops dead to let someone who is clearly yielding from the ending lane.

Can you say "accident waiting to happen"?

Sometimes nice just doesn't pay.

Oh, and BTW, if you hate shopping for a microwave, you can likely get one cheap on Kijiji *and* the seller might even drop it off at your house. For, like, $20.
Pam said…
Oh the humanity! Well, you know me- too much small town girl in me. I'd happily let the offenders butt in, smile sweetly at them and give them a freshly baked muffin for their effort. I wonder why it takes me 2 hours to get downtown and I get rear-ended a lot? Guess I'll bake muffins for those road-ragers behind me too.

Eve is hy-LAR-ius (Laura's new favourite word). I'm glad she kept her pride and got the oreos to boot.
Lynn said…
I am kind of obsessed with traffic and traffic rules and etiquette. I have a whole book on the subject called Traffic and its opening chapter is all about merge lanes like this. He talks about the philosophical differences between those who merge early and then get mad at the late mergers, and those who merge late because they figure that is how the road designers meant it to be. Both camps were VERY sure they were right. It's fascinating reading.


I adore Eve. I can't wait for her to get her own blog!
Alexandra said…
In Wisconsin, we are very polite. We move over, so people can merge, then we even slow down for them to enter. We also use directionals, and wave people through. The trouble starts when we leave the state and try those same tactics: we get eaten alive....
Average Girl said…
I am a waiter, and a waiter, and a waiter...yup, still waiting. I may never get home~
Magpie said…
People are supposed to know about alternate feed and merging. BUT THEY DON'T.

Popcorn on the stove. Almost as fast, and it tastes better. Then you can throw out your microwave.
Anonymous said…
I follow the alternating merge pattern as closely as possible. One car goes, one car merges, one car goes, one car merges. Et voila!

However, invariably, even after I do my part and merge at the appointed time, some guy speeds past and tries to merge in front of me at that last possible moment. And it irks me. I'm a rule-follower, and I think everyone else should be, too. But
Amber said…
I'm totally a panic and merge as soon as possible, all the while letting everyone go in front of me. I'm a wallflower on the road. I love the conversations with your kids you post. I'll just go ahead and say that same thing each time you post one.

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