Given that we still have the highest birthrate in the EU, it will come as no surprise to you that so many Irish people are forever on the horn. But what about in the motoring sense?
In my experience - and I have lived in the UK, worked in Germany and Luxembourg, spent a bit of time in Brussels and driven as far south as Mazarron in Spain and as far east as Halle in Germany - Irish drivers are bloody awful. Possibly worse than the Belgians.
Despite the country having more roundabouts per square centimetre than a badly chickenpoxed visage has pock-marks, the Irish don't know how to use them. "Signal, turn" is an abstract concept for them. Either that, or they are trying to save the planet, the polar bears and electricity by not using those orange things on the four corners of their automotive conveyances.
Three lane motorways? The inside lane is usually left empty, with the exception of trucks - often going at higher velocity than private cars in the middle and rightmost overtaking lanes.
Red lights? They are like those things matadors wave at bulls, and simply invite a reckless charge. On my miserable little half-hour lunch break in Dublin's city centre, I routinely lose count of how many times I see some arsehole break a red light, when there are pedestrians just about to cross the road, only to get as far as the next set of lights.
The solution for all these ills from our transport minister, Leo Varadkar, is to put average speed cameras on the motorways. Well Leo, it is obvious that only a great mind like yours can qualify for, and get through, seven years of medical college.
But I digress. Have you - apart from your missing tax money that goes towards financing children's allowances - noticed the latest craze for the horn in Ireland? It seems the only part of a car's anatomy Paddy and Mary are familiar with is the button in the middle of the steering wheel, which is often used as a kind of retaliatory device.
I've never seen this anywhere else. It is a relatively new thing that's only become apparent in the past couple of years, and is a sad reflection on the generation of gobshites that are the future of this fucked-up little country. It's like an auditary affirmation of their utter arseholery, and saves you the trouble of having to consult BoardsDotIE or PoliticsDotIE.
Here's an example. A few months back I was on the road leading from Clonsilla to Castleknock, when the car in front had to slam on its brakes when some half-wit emerged from a side road. Understandably, the driver of the car who had averted an accident by hitting the anchors beeped his/her horn. What was the response from the gobshite who pulled out from the side road? A contrite wave, a finger pointed to their thick head, an acknowledgement of being in the wrong? No, of course not - they beeped their horn back.
Can you think of anything more stupid? To be honest - and maybe I shouldn't say this - if I had been in the car that had to stop, I might well have followed them to the next set of lights and punched theirs out.
And that would have done a lot more for road safety in this country than Leo Varadkar and the RSA ever will.
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