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The Virtuous Lane: Celebrating the Left Lane on the Motorway

Thursday, 02 November 2023 09:12 Lifestyle

"Confessions of a Lane Disciplinarian: In Praise of the Virtuous Left Lane on the Motorway"

How many times must the call be echoed? The middle lane, designated for overtaking, bears the weight of admonitions plastered across motorway signs throughout the UK. As a dedicated disciple of lane discipline, I find solace in the left-hand lane, reserved for the virtuous and the good. With unwavering commitment, I adhere to its noble purpose, seamlessly transitioning to the middle lane only for the sacred act of overtaking.

Navigating a tranquil motorway at a dignified 70mph, I execute overtakes with precision before gracefully retreating to the sanctity of the left-hand lane. This lane, I believe, is reserved for the worthy, the disciplined, the considerate—indeed, the lane of the good.

Even when confronted with the prospect of overtaking another vehicle in the left lane, whether distant or near, I dutifully return to the left lane, epitomizing the stickling devotion of a true believer. The virtue-signaling, however, reaches absurd heights when I execute these maneuvers even in the absence of any vehicle behind me in the middle lane yearning to pass. It becomes a piety known only to me and my internal sense of righteousness—an act of virtue-signaling with no audience but the Almighty.

Yet, this fervent adherence to lane discipline unveils a paradoxical truth. The simmering cauldron of righteous indignation within me, reserved for those who deviate from the holy order, threatens to boil over when encountering a fellow motorist in the middle lane overtaking no one at all. The internal fury, akin to comedian Stu Francis's exclamation, "Ooh, I could crush a grape," speaks to the intensity of my commitment to the cause.

In the complex dance of motorway etiquette, the left lane remains my sanctuary—a lane where virtue reigns supreme, even if the audience for this display of piety is but a solitary driver and their God.

"Ballet of Virtue on the Motorway: A Sinless Motorist's Dance with the Unrighteous"

As I approach this incarnation of malevolence, I suppress my rage, enveloping myself in a death-like stillness, determined to uphold the sanctity of the left lane—the lane of virtue. In the spirit of generosity, I grant this sinner a final opportunity to repent and migrate to the correct lane. Alas, they seldom seize this chance, much to my secret delight. It paves the way for the most gratifying maneuver in the repertoire of every immaculate motorist.

With the sole aim of instilling shame, I gracefully transition into the middle lane behind the transgressor, allowing for a brief pause of disapproval before elegantly gliding into the fast lane to overtake. As I pass, I accompany the act with a disdainful shake of my head, a gesture mirrored by any canine companions in the backseat. In one majestic sweep, cutting through the thin air of the moral high ground, I reclaim the slow lane.

Often, the chastened wrongdoer falls into line behind me, a sheepish acknowledgment of their transgressions. In such cases, a nod from me signifies forgiveness and absolution. Should they persist in their folly, my ire abates over time, leading me to offer prayers for their wayward souls.

In one memorable instance on the northbound M40, I engaged in this whimsical road dance with my mother in the passenger seat. "What on earth are you moving about like this for?" she demanded, alarmed. Her concern held merit, as I reflected on the potentially perilous nature of my virtuous endeavors.

Adrian Chiles, a broadcaster, writer, and Guardian columnist, shares this anecdote as a testament to the delicate ballet performed by those who navigate the highways with unwavering righteousness.

In the culmination of this virtuous ballet on the motorway, the sinless motorist, adorned in the robes of lane discipline, finds both satisfaction and solace. The dance with those who dare deviate from the righteous path becomes a symbolic performance, a choreography of disapproval and redemption.

As the journey unfolds, the transgressors are either humbled into compliance, their vehicles falling in line behind the paragon of virtue, or they persist in their errant ways. Regardless of the outcome, the sinless motorist, having executed the dance with finesse, extends a nod of forgiveness or offers prayers for wayward souls.

In the whimsical theater of the road, where disdain is expressed through graceful maneuvers and disapproving shakes of the head, the conclusion of this tale leaves the sinless motorist once again in the tranquility of the slow lane. The moral high ground, momentarily disrupted, is restored, and the highway becomes a stage where righteousness prevails, if only for the duration of a journey. As the curtain falls on this amusing and slightly audacious performance, the sinless motorist continues their drive with a sense of fulfillment, leaving the dance floor of the motorway behind, perhaps until the next virtuous act beckons.

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