No. No, You May NOT Merge in Front of Me in Traffic.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Atlanta traffic is some of the worst in the country. Proof here, here, here, here, and about a bajillion more places.

(In case your blood isn’t already boiling because of your morning commute, feel free to click through those links to jumpstart your morning rage.)

Anyway, due to living in an area with insane levels of traffic, I often find myself just sitting in the middle of the interstate, parked in complete gridlock, or trudging along at a speed that can be generously described as “glacially slow.” So what I’m saying is, I have a lot of time on my hands.

Atlanta Traffic
Typical Atlanta traffic. Unless of course, you know, SOMEONE SETS THE HIGHWAY ON FIRE. Then it’s a little worse.

As a result, I get to be very, very picky about the type of people I let merge in front of me. Listen buddy, we’ve all been stuck in gridlock together for the last 45 minutes and suddenly you decide you need to move three lanes to the left when there are no exits anywhere near us and all lanes are moving the same speed? Cool! You’ve been spending the last 15 minutes trying to take the perfect duck face selfie and you think one lane to the right has better lighting? Sure! You’ve flown down the emergency lane like it’s your own personal, private speedway and then see a cop and realize you should merge into traffic and join the rest of the law-abiding drivers? Haha, okay!

Please, sure, go ahead and merge in front of me. No problem.

Look, I know about zipper merging. I understand yield signs and HOV lanes and right-of-ways. When there’s a driving law stating I should or I have to let someone merge, I do it. But when I’m stuck in endless traffic where there’s no end in sight and I understand that it really doesn’t matter which car in my lane lets someone in, I let myself be picky.

Mad Max Cars

Mostly to keep myself occupied for these brain-melting stretches of time and surpress my desire to run everyone off the road Mad Max style, I’ve come up with a list of incredibly petty qualifiers that go into my decision-making process.

Will I Let You Merge in Front of Me?

YES, you may merge in front of me

HECK NO, I’m ignoring you, stay in your lane, loser

Your license plate is out of state and you look totally overwhelmed. Your license plate is out of state but you have local sports teams bumper stickers – you totally live here, you just haven’t gotten around to changing your plates yet. Get your act together.
You appear to have multiple screaming children in the car and you look like you are this close to just breaking into tears from lack of sleep. You appear to have multiple screaming children in the car and any of these children are taking a selfie or playing with fidget spinners.
You have a Braves bumper sticker/license plate frame/flag, etc., or are wearing any form of Braves gear. Yankees or Nationals periphinalia results in instant denial. Sorry.
You are a cute guy in a truck. You are a cute guy in a truck that has that awful, terrible, no good buzzed on the sides/tall on the top haircut that apparently is the #1 most popular male hairstyle in America right now. While you’re watching me pass, you can reflect upon your terrible life choices.
You have a bumper sticker with my Alma Mater.  You have anything related to UGA on your car. You wanna know how to spell “dog”? I’ll give you a hint. THERE’S NO “A” OR “W.” Same goes for stickers that spell “go” as “geaux.”
You are singing along to the radio. That’s fun, I like you. You have a terrible, terrible taste in music and your windows are open and you’re poisoning the air with that filth.
You have any sticker that relates to law enforcement or the military. Thank you for your service. You have a stick figure family of stickers on your back windshield. Congratulations, you just gave a ton of complete strangers details about your family we can now use to steal your identity.
I’m in that mindset where traffic is terrible and everything is awful and what’s the point, we’re all going to die anyway, so go ahead and merge since I hate life. I’m in that mindset where traffic is terrible and everything is awful and what’s the point, we’re all going to die anyway BECAUSE YOU CUT ME OFF EARLIER IN MY COMMUTE AND NOW MY ENTIRE DAY IS RUINED AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU JERK.