Fried Light: A guide to merging

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By Roger Snodgrass

You may be relieved to learn that help is on the way in the war between sidezoomers and lineuppers. If you’re a zipper, like me, you’ll be especially pleased.

How many times have we approached a patch of construction or a temporary diversion on the highway, where two or more lanes of traffic are required to funnel down into one?

This can be a daily occurrence or an ephemeral surprise. It is one of the conditions of our radical independence and individuality.

Those who lived through the Santa Fe-Pojoaque highway construction project a few years back will know what I’m talking about. We used to have the same problem regularly during the morning rush at the NM4 “Y,” at the bottom of the hill, but that was before public transportation and layoffs eased the bottleneck.

Just the memory of the warning merge sign, long before the orange barrels forced a move, raises my blood pressure. That’s where I began to slow conscientiously, like an honorable member of civilization and join the long line of suckers already in the right lane at the earliest opportunity.

Lineuppers are nice, decent, good Americans, who were properly taught in first grade to get in line and not cheat.

So how long did it take before the first sidezoomer whisked by, heedless, ethically vacant, a menace to humankind?

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