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Tailgate me at your peril

Off the fence
Tailgate me at your peril


Off the fence
Áine Ryan


I’M in therapy. It’s for road rage. I hate to admit it but I’ve been addicted to this chronic affliction since – relatively late in life – I tentatively took charge of my first car.
My counsellor says it is a manifestation of an early childhood propensity for falling off my tricycle. (Don’t even ask how the silly shrink deduced that. Certainly wasn’t anything I confessed, even in a holotropic trance)
Ok, I’m only joking.
My road rage is really under wraps.
After all a middle-aged blonde that drives a dirty old grey banger (sorry Tootsie) is hardly a danger to other road users.
Ask my youngest. She drips with sarcasm as she tiredly tells her older sisters about my acceleration phobia.
“Yeah. Mam drives the whole way to my grind in Killadoon with her foot on the brake. No wonder we have to leave Westport the night before!”
Invariably, sisterly smirks and snorts echo with motherly hot flushes and grunts.
Notwithstanding this Driving Miss Daisy likeness, there is nowhere – other than the office – that I like more to indulge in a barrage of effing and blinding than when behind my steering wheel.
Take the crazy death trap that is the exit from the Westport’s SuperValu carpark onto Peter Street.
What is your problem? All you morons who fly up that steep hill without indicating you intend to exit from the main road (the N59). Idiots. Twits. Gobs****s!
Then there’s the grey brigade of cursed camper van holiday-makers. Rich and retired former hippies who somewhere along the way transformed into fat cat bankers or marketing moguls. Now they choose the narrow roads of Mayo to reconnect with their bohemian pasts.
Spliffs may have turned into an annual cigar, tofu stew into venison en croute, and homemade elderberry wine into an occasional quality brandy that is so expensive even the peptic ulcer declines to react.  
Well, hey you silver surfers, time to waken up and smell the patchouli oil. Your f***ing tanks are too wide for Bridge Street, Louisburgh. In fact they are also too wide for Bridge Street, Westport. Come to think of it a**holes, they’re too damned wide for just about every bloody bridge west of the Shannon. So get your wrinkly asses back onto the autobahn and leave the byways of the wild west of Ireland free for me, to wander stress-free.
To be totally honest though, there have been occasions when my spontaneous responses have backfired. Worse than a geriatric Ford Cortina. Take that recent Spring night, I was driving across the Octagon in third gear. Suddenly, two twits on the path stare straight at me, as if I had two bloody heads. Then, I’m up the Quay Hill and just past the Woods Hotel when some ould eejit walking his stupid dog nearly jumps right out in front of me. He’s waving and gesticulating like a madman.
So I forgot to switch on my lights. So effing what!