Shortly after Winston’s plane landed, Winston proceeded through the airport terminal to the rental car kiosk and picked up the keys to his American made sedan. Driving out of the airport, Winston steered his car into the left-hand lane and drove toward the freeway.
Understandably, airport access roads can be quite confusing, but the solid yellow line down the middle of the roadway was clearly visible and Winston should have known he was driving on the “wrong” side of the road. If that wasn’t enough of a clue, there were vehicles coming right at him in this left lane. Not surprisingly, the drivers of these cars honked and waved and pointed to the right hand lane. They were trying to signal to poor Winston that he was in the wrong lane.
Some drivers assumed that Winston was drunk. Others wondered if perhaps he was a confused, elderly driver. But the policeman that ultimately pulled him over found that he was neither drunk nor confused. He was British. Ah, well, that explains everything.
Winston is not like the rest of us. As a Brit, he is naturally wired to drive on the left side of the road. It’s almost as if he has no choice but to veer toward the left. While it can’t be said with any certainty that Brits are born with this left-leaning tendency, I’m sure it has been the subject of heated debate by lofty scholars in the hallowed halls of marble institutions of higher thought: the whole “nature vs. nurture” thing. But does it really matter whether Winston’s urge to drive on the left-hand side is genetically programmed or simply that this is where he feels most comfortable? Perhaps it’s just an extension of who he is.
How dare this police officer pull this poor man over for doing only what comes naturally to him. Of course, all Winston had to do upon being stopped is to announce to the policeman that he is a Brit and that during his visit to the U.S. he will be driving on the left-hand side. Now, surely the police officer, upon learning the circumstances of Winston’s predisposition, slapped Winston on the back with a friendly and understanding glance and sent him on his way with his blessing – on the wrong side of the road. After all, should police officers really be interfering with such personal preferences? What right do Americans have to arbitrarily decide that we should drive on the right side of the road anyway? Surely Brits have their rights, too?
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