Belfast Telegraph

The M2 road rage incident that made me give the finger to another driver

By Claire Harrison

Have you ever done something completely out of character? Something that if someone else did, you'd be disgusted and find it colouring your opinion of them? Have you ever found yourself having a bit of an out of body experience in which you can see yourself in the act of doing something out of character, yet you go ahead and do it anyway?

I've written before about the amount of idiots there are on our roads, mainly men it has to be said - aggressive men in big, fast cars who clearly have shortcomings in other parts of their, ahem, lives.

I came across what appears to be the biggest idiot in possession of a driver's licence while travelling along the M2 in a sideways blizzard. At the time, I was driving at a perfectly reasonable speed when I came up behind a slow moving lorry. I could see another car coming up the outside lane at a slightly higher speed, so I held back and let it past. When the way was clear, I pulled out to pass the articulated lorry in a perfectly safe way.

I was about halfway past the lorry when suddenly a Range Rover appeared out of nowhere in my rear view mirror, flashing its lights and apparently demanding I pull over and give him priority. Now given that there were just two lanes and there was a humongous lorry in one of them and me in the other, I'm not sure where he expected me to go. But that didn't stop him driving angrily up towards the back of my car until I got to the front of the lorry. And when I got there, he accelerated even closer, again flashing his lights because I dared to be going slower than the 100mph he had clearly been doing up until then. To have pulled in front of the lorry at that stage would have been idiotically dangerous, and my perfectly normal delay in putting a safe distance between me and the lorry infuriated him even more.

As I pulled in, the maniac's need for speed apparently dissipated and he pulled level, dropping down so he could gesticulate wildly across (I really hope he gesticulated long enough to notice the small child in the back seat of my car). I didn't please him by looking over, but before I could stop it, my arm delivered a parting shot I swear I had no control over.

Like an out of body experience, I could feel my hand rising and my middle finger pressing against the cold glass until he roared out of sight. I've never flipped the bird before, I find it very vulgar, but I can't tell you how good it felt.

I'm still enraged that someone can behave like that on the roads and get away with it, particularly when it's a man towards a woman and child in a small car. How dare someone in a powerful, speeding car think that makes him entitled to take over the roads like no-one else deserves to be there.

I can only imagine he has a serious inferiority complex about something else and likes to take it out on others under the anonymity of a big grille. I bet he's the kind of control freak who went home that night and berated his wife for serving an odd number of peas for dinner.

I'm not particularly proud of giving another driver the finger, I hope I never do it again, but sometimes you have to speak to some people in the only language they can understand.

Phil's own goal on domestic front

Well done to Phil Neville for sterling work in turning on its head the public perception that footballers live a pampered existence completely detached from the harsh realities of life.

The former England star has been boasting about his prowess with a vacuum, mop, dishwasher, oven and all-round Domestic God talents. Wait ... hang on. Sorry, I got that slightly wrong. What the former Manchester United player-turned-pundit actually said was that he has no idea how to turn on an oven, only recently made his first cup of instant coffee (with instructions) and doesn't know where his own ironing board is kept.

Sorry about that ... as you were.

Liam's great in Lego movie, hey!

Everything is awesome for The Lego Movie, which is now officially the top earning film in the UK and Ireland for 2014. The big budget animation, based entirely around the toy brand, raked in £34.3m last year after becoming a firm family favourite. Not only does it boast the catchiest movie tune ever (Everything is awesome!), it also delivered one of my favourite scenes of all time. 

Many thanks to the menacing Liam Neeson for bringing a flavour of Norn Iron to his Bad Cop/Good Cop with a line that only the good folk of this wee country would find funny. The heartwrenching scene with his "mammy and daddy" is pure Ballymena, hey.

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