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DRIVETIME MAHATMA: It's my way or highway to merge

by Frank Fellone | April 11, 2020 at 8:19 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: When merging onto an interstate highway, would I yield to the interstate traffic to my left or would the interstate traffic be required to yield to me since I am to the right of them? I would think the interstate traffic has the right of way. -- Merging Maniac

Dear Maniac: We were once told that "Arkansas" was a Quapaw Indian word meaning "failure to properly merge."


Four things to think about when entering an interstate.

First, do so at or near the same speed as the traffic.

Second, remember that through lanes have the right of way. Folks in the through lane should try to maintain a consistent speed.

Third, merge when safe to do so.

Fourth, oh lordy, do not go to the end of the ramp and stop.

Dear Mahatma: What kind of person would keep sending pics every few months of a car with an expired temp tag measurable in dog years? The problem will only get worse with all the out-of-work folks. -- Curmudgeon

Dear Curmudgeon: You reference a recent column in which we wrote about uninsured drivers and drivers who don't meet their 30-day deadline to get a new vehicle licensed and, more importantly, pay the sales tax.

What kind of reader would periodically send to The Mahatma a photo of the same car with the same ancient and expired drive-out tag?

Someone who takes seriously his responsibilities as a vehicle owner and driver. In other words, a reader who is made nuts by the other driver's failure to pay his tax like most of the rest of us, and the failure of law enforcement to, well, enforce.

And as we all know, driving is a privilege, not a right.

Dear Mahatma: Maybe someone who is an anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist? Please do a contest to get people's thoughts since we need something to occupy our minds besides news! -- Sandie

Dear Sandie: You reference a column in which was included the vanity plate SEDATED. As for a contest, anyone who has a notion of what a vanity plate means is invited to write in.

Surely SEDATED was either an anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist, those medical professionals who put surgical patients into Nicky Night-night.

Surely. Although we recently read that liquor sales in the United States were up 55% during these -- cliche alert! -- uncertain times. Never mind medical professionals. Americans are self-sedating at a rapid rate. If the governor closed down the liquor stores, people would be brewing gin in their bathtubs.

Closure of liquor stores would be -- cliche alert! -- draconian, a word seen repeatedly in news stories in these, um, uncertain times.

Draconian is a favorite of journalists, and means excessively harsh or severe. Draco, poor guy, was the first lawgiver of ancient Athens.

Is this a full-service newspaper, or what?

Vanity plate in Fort Smith: Y NOT.

Metro on 04/11/2020


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