This week, while sitting in the longest series of traffic jams known to humankind, I made a few observations about the categories of drivers queuing in traffic.
I also did a spot of meditating for the sake of my mental health.
The M6 is not my spiritual home for nothing.
I get more guilt-free, task-free, me time parking on one of its three to four lanes (or occasionally the hard shoulder), with the engine off and listening to questionable radio stations, than at any other time.
At work there’s always well, work, at home there’s always washing and more work, so part from the undeniable fury-making stress of being late for work/ an urgent meeting/life or death medical treatment/there is not an awful lot you can do about it.
It's the same fatalistic approach I take to flying.
Once on the plane you might as well sit back and just accept you are shooting through the sky in a heavy metal box piloted by a complete stranger, so you may as well have an overpriced Sauvignon in a plastic cup. With Pringles.
Though admittedly, in a car, you don’t have access to the wine, crisps, or crucially, a bathroom.
The latter factor causes more stress than anything else so I tend to sit, hypothetically inventing gadgets to overcome this obvious flaw on motor vehicle technology. (The plastic cup would have come in useful)
Anyway, while in my traffic, I have noted three distinct type of drivers.
Firstly, like me, The Resigned.
Slumped into seat, radio on, a side-order of nail-biting, we stare out the window deep in thought, trying not to think about the ramifications of tardiness, the fuel gauge, or nagging bladders.
Then there is Mr or Mrs Angry, stooped over the steering wheel, engine revving, knuckles white and ready for quick-fire hand gestures, nudging The Resigned out the way to pointlessly change lanes.
Scaring old ladies is a given and a sweary road-rage encounter with another Mr Angry is inevitable.
Also, most likely to try and illegally scoot down the hard shoulder.
Then there’s Mr or Miss Terrified.
Usually elderly or young, they are scared of both the anger and resignation surrounding them.