Tag Archive for: Courtesy

On my way home the other day, I was turning left from the busy main street in Marshfield (MA) onto a residential side street. I had to cross traffic, but there’s a convenient lane to wait in until one gets their chance.

Another car was simultaneously coming out of the side street. It was looking to turn left — possibly passing in front of me — and onto the main road, to go deeper into Marshfield.

Anyone who has lived in this area for any length of time knows that this is a fool’s errand. If you take this turn onto the busiest road in town, you better have a lunch packed, for there will be no end of traffic to keep you penned in.

And bear in mind that this is early May. Marshfield, like Amity in Jaws, is a summer town; we depend on the summer dollar. And with the summer dollar comes summer traffic. Woe to anyone trying to take that left, like this ignorant fellow, during beach season.

At this time of year, packing a lunch will do you no good. As Ripley did at the end of the movie Alien, it’s probably best if you go into suspended animation. Then perhaps you could have the car’s computer revive you when an opportunity comes to take that turn. Of course, by then, as all Sci-Fi enthusiasts will tell you, anyone you’ve ever known or loved may have long since turned to dust.

For a nanosecond — a billionth of a second — I felt pity for the unwary motorist. For a Boston-area driver, that’s a long time.

But then I mentally recited the Boston driver’s credo:

Thou shalt get to where thouest is going by the fastest means possible; all other things and people be damned.

After steeling myself with this recital, the other car’s driver changed from someone to be pitied, into a big nuisance who was in my way. It was him-or-me the next time a brief opening materialized.

Giving him a free pass would mean adding another 20 seconds to my trip; this is an abomination, per classic Boston road practice.

What would you do? And/or what would you do as a Bostonian?

The End

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