Giving a nod to modern motoring's saviors, in today's Thursday Five
The black art of driving an automobile from point A to point B has evolved over the past few decades. These days people Tweet, eat, apply mascara, blog, think, drift, and de-sex the cat while driving, and it’s absolutely appalling.
But while it’s ridiculously easy to be negative about the 2016 driving experience, it’s high time that we take this opportunity to step back a little bit and show how thankful we are for those on the roads who make us smile. So for today’s Thursday Five, here’s an array of contemporary motoring superstars — listed in order of remembrance. Give yourselves pats on the back, people.
Those who fast lane responsibly
Photo / Dean Purcell
You’re late, and the trio in head office will have your head if you don’t get the samples and data to them by 9am sharp — no later. So you hop onto the motorway, expecting to possibly duck past the Nissan Serena backing up traffic in the left-hand lane while doing 80 in a 100.
But, there’s a problem, in the shape of the car perched ahead of you in the fast lane. Your fingers dance on the steering wheel, investigating the idea of deploying some vintage intimidation tactics as you approach — turning the lights on, tailing their gate — but before you have a chance to activate some passive aggression, they move to the left lane.
They’d been watching you in their rear-view mirror for the last kilometer, waiting until you got to within striking distance before letting you by.
Thank you very, very much.
The generous and courteous
Photo / Janna Dixon
It’s been a tough old day. You didn’t get to the office by 9am, and now they want your full set of concepts in by Thursday. And Belinda from accounts also called you a “douchebag” while you were sat down for lunch, but she didn’t say why.
The rain pours, as you sit at the intersection waiting an endless wait for a window in the traffic to open.
But, suddenly, there it is. An approaching Subaru Legacy slows to a halt, before the driver gestures to you through the glass with a smile and a wave.
It’s enough to restore one’s faith in humanity.
Photo / George Novak
It’s a three and a half hour journey from Auckland to the company's southern base inTaupo, but there’s time to trim if you can negotiate the various locations along the way where traffic is known to mount up.
Blasting past you is a ten-year-old Holden Commodore, a wistful-looking man no older than 42 behind the wheel. He smoothly peels out of the queue to round up a group of cars before swooping back in, like a delicate thief in the night.
You recreate his maneuver at the next passing lane, joining him at the head of the battle group. But instead of passing, you tack yourself to his rear and follow his every move. Speeding up when he does, taking to the passing lanes when he does, generally reflecting his every move.
He does no wrong; subsequently you do no wrong either ...
… that is until an oncoming cop sneaks a peek of you doing 120. Bang, blue and twos, you’re done.
This is the last thing you needed, a juicy fine at the end of a tumultuous week (curse you, Belinda). Pulling over immediately you take out your wallet, sip some water, and retire to your fate, imagining what items of necessity you’ll need to trim from the next trip to the supermarket in order to make ends meet.
“Did you know why I pulled you over?”
“Yeah, I was probably going a bit quick back there.”
“My machine got you doing 117kph. Any particular reason for speeding today?” asks the cop, a question that never has a real answer.
“Uhhh … no good ones. Sorry.”
Looking down as the cop walks back to his car, you can’t help but feel small. Like it’s year three again and you’re being shamed in front of the class for not knowing how to spell ‘toilet’.
“Sir, I’ll be giving you a fine today of $150, and ten demerit points. Just on the basis of that speed. There really is no reason to be going that quickly,” adds the cop, maintaining eye contact the whole time with a concerned tone, before handing you the ticket.
Soon you’re back on the road, travelling a bit slower than you had been before. Reflecting on it, it was a relatively fuss-free process.
It makes sense though. The cop will have to deal with at least a dozen of you as the day goes. Most will probably buckle into the same regretful slump, but some probably won’t. However, the cop won’t crack or cave to the desires of those who don’t respect them.
It’s largely a thankless job. One’s probably overdue.
All Volkswagen Golf drivers
They’re just better than any other group of drivers out there. Sorry.