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Rush hour traffic from Highway 400 merges with the eastbound Highway 401 during rush hour in Toronto. (File photo) (Randall Moore/Randall Moore / The Globe and Mail)
Rush hour traffic from Highway 400 merges with the eastbound Highway 401 during rush hour in Toronto. (File photo) (Randall Moore/Randall Moore / The Globe and Mail)

The Rant

Whatever happened to the courtesy wave? Add to ...

It’s a simple flick of the wrist.

The Queen has perfected it. Stadium sports crowds have been practising it for decades now.

Yet many motorists are seemingly incapable of it.

I’m talking about the wave, that small simple courtesy that is becoming exceedingly rare to spot on our nation’s highways and byways.

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Really, it isn’t all that difficult. Try it with me. Imagine you’re in a difficult spot: highway traffic is extremely heavy (quelle surprise) and you’ve just driven up the onramp hoping to merge into this mess. Vehicles one lane to the left are crammed bumper-to-bumper and you are rapidly running out of time and merge distance.

However, just as you are about to abandon all hope, an angel of mercy shines upon you. That would be me in the ugly sorta-gold-sorta-orange-who-the-hell-picked-that-colour Matrix. I back off, creating space for you to come over to join the slow-moving procession.

My only requirement: That you acknowledge it. Lift your right hand up through the middle of the vehicle or, in the summer, poke your left hand out the open driver’s side window. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m happy and my faith in mankind is renewed.

Many motorists don’t have much trouble sticking one finger in the air when the situation warrants it. How much harder can it be to raise all five?

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