Several days last week saw some very long commutes from home into the city, due to drivers getting themselves into a pickle in the form of very badly timed accidents – can one have a well-timed accident I ask myself – right in the middle of rush hour.

Rush hour really is a misnomer, as there is no rush about it – creep hour is possibly more apt. Aussies call it “peak hour,” which really is terribly sensible of them, as that hits the nail on the head for the perfect description.

If you have a medical emergency which requires you to go a tad haywire, I don’t think there would be a soul who would quibble over a bit of a delay, but if, as we would say in Oz, you’ve been playing silly buggers and caused a bingle, then I feel the need to deal with you.

I’ve noticed more and more of late that commuters have very much lost their sense of humor along with their milk of human kindness when it comes to merging. You behave yourself with decorum, turn on your turn signal, look appealingly about, and find that you’re cut off in your prime by a driver who positively pulses with the “I’m as good as you are Jack” attitude as they hurtle up to close the gap so you just can’t get in.

This naturally has two immediate effects. The first is that the merger is now forced to come to a complete stop while the mergee has to throw out the anchors to stop himself from driving up someone’s jacksie, all of which causes a domino reaction all the way down the line until approximately 8 billion cars have come to a grinding halt all because one asshat didn’t want to cede 15 feet of evidently precious space.

The second is that the mergee leaves himself wide open to road rage retaliation, which probably does not take the form of a cheery wave emphasizing the middle finger.

This therefore can lead to the aforementioned bingle. So can texting while driving; painting your toenails while driving; changing a CD while driving or pretty much doing anything at all while driving that takes your eyes off the road.

It is in these instances that my sense of humor leaves me, and ironically I do get ever so cross when someone forces me to lose it.

So if you cause one of these accidents in rush hour, I think the only fair thing to do would be to impose upon you fines so heavy for being an idiot, you would have to take out a second mortgage. Throw in the loss of your license for 10 or so years, and that ought to deter even the most avid of fiddlers.

Sir, I find, has become an inveterate fiddler when he drives, and I swear if he gets in a bingle at any time, he will have a bigger bingle with me in the kitchen when I smack him upside the head with a skillet.

As I harrumphed at him the other day: “You’re worse than bloody Nero – stop fiddling!”

– Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at