Antidotal Evidence

Antidotal Evidence

Perhaps it is just me.

Well, that is what They say.

They come to that conclusion when I express my disbelief, my outrage, my frustration with the general attitudes of people I encounter in this province. They feel justified in making that conclusion because my wife and I drive a lot.

I know, that sounds weird to me too. Let me explain. Back in the summer of 2013 my wife and I purchased a new vehicle. There was 1km. on it. It is now the summer of 2017 and we have almost 210,000kms on it. Yes, we drive a lot and we drive because we love to drive. This is pleasure only. However, the highways are horrible in this prairie province so we drive on a handful of highways and have come to know every kilometre of those roads. So, consequently we have also encountered a lot of other drivers over the last four years and apparently that is where my conclusions go astray. If only I had driven less – like them, perhaps, I would be less inclined to draw such wide reaching conclusions about the general population. Says the ostrich before sticking its head back into the sand…

Try driving behind someone on the highway and then having to swerve to avoid litter being tossed from the window. Drivers accelerating fast enough in their over-sized trucks so they can coal-roll you. Drivers cutting you off at highway speed even though the highway is wide open. Drivers coming to a complete stop on a highway merge lane. Drivers talking or using their cellphones while driving completely unaware that they are swerving all over the road. Drivers that will speed up to 20km over the speed limit only to slow right back down again.

Or, like the biker who was in front of me yesterday who I travelled behind through the construction zone and who I followed behind for awhile afterwards waiting for him to get back up to highway speed. He didn’t so I passed him and set the cruise, waited until I was quite a ways ahead of him before re-entering the right hand lane. Only to have him race up beside me then slightly ahead before slowing down in front of me again – forcing me into a position where I needed to pass him. This scenario played itself out at least four times before he finally turned off. No particular reason why he behaved that way but these days it is hard to assign motive to this action when I see it displayed all around me.

Perhaps it is the abandonment of the open prairies that is bringing out the Mad Max in everyone. It is the isolation of the wide-open space that has people thinking that they have been left alone, surrounded by desolation and despair. Perhaps it is the long-term residents – the nice people who have finally had enough of us – the visitors, that this is their passive-aggressive protest.

Either way the madness almost ends entirely the moment we are only a few kilometres outside of this prairie province’s borders in any direction. It is startling at the contrast in behaviour. From the utter contempt for people and the environment to a general civility towards fellow mankind.

But… in this place’s defence it may actually be this way everywhere and the only reason why I haven’t seen it is that I haven’t driven 200,000km in those other places.

And heaven forbid if I did because then it would be my fault there as well…


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