Merging is a doddle.
In reality, merging is a pain in the arse. Why? Because you've got to rely on the good graces of other drivers to let you in, instead of getting from A to B and occasionally even C, with virtually no interaction with other drivers.
There I was turning left from the Eastern Freeway onto Chandler Highway where the Chandler goes from two lanes to one to cross the Yarra at Fairfield. Or is it Alphington?
Same as every morning, I pulled up at the give-way sign and waited and watched as several drivers crawled past, squeezing up as close as mechanically possible to the back of the car in front, pretending they couldn't see me. If they weren't feigning unawareness, they were furiously avoiding eye contact in case, God forbid, they felt obliged to let me in and lose the game they were playing in their head.
It's not as if I don't know what they are up to. I used do play the squeeze, too. But now, as a mature, considerate, altogether sanguine beasty behind the wheel, I pretty much always do the right thing. Just ask Boynton.
Anyway, some bloke eventually let me in, and it was up and over Heidelberg Road and onto the next challenge: Grange Road.
Grange is an aggravating carriageway. It's busy, but not a clear run because cars park on the left. If you're in the left lane you'll soon have to move right; and if you're in the centre lane you'll soon have to let someone in.
Today, I was in the left lane and ended up beside a car in the right with another close behind. Sorry, did I say close behind? I meant, firmly stuck in the boot of the car in front.
I could see the driver in my wing mirror, and I could see she could see me. She could also see the cars parked about 50 metres ahead. Nevertheless, I indicated my intent to move across. But was she going to let me in? Was she fvck. She wedged her car, a pissant Festiva, still further up the other car's arse.
Having enough of her nonsense I pulled right, forcing her to back off, thus making space for myself. In the mirror I could see her shaking her head at me, as if I was some pig ignorant fool who hadn't bothered to look before changing lanes. But I'd called her on it. I smiled, mouthed thank you and gave her a friendly wave. She didn't react. She was too busy squirming inside because she knew she'd lost her little game.