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Congratulations on downloading the “Road Sage Life Hacks to Tailgating!” By purchasing this how-to manual, you are demonstrating your commitment to the time-honoured art of driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front of you for no logical reason. If you learn these basic steps and apply them with dedication and a wilful obliviousness to their potentially horrific and lethal consequences, you too will enjoy hours of stressful joy as you bird-dog any driver who has the audacity to drive as fast as you’d like them to.

Let’s begin with some frequently asked questions:

“Why should I tailgate?”

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The fact you’re even asking shows that you have a long way to go. If you are going to be a top-notch tailgater you need to avoid those negative “W” words. The moment you start asking “Why?” or “What’s the purpose?” you will find yourself weighed down by logic.

“Will driving two inches from the car in front of me while going 120 km/h make me feel powerful?”

Yes. That’s because you’re menacing someone. You may have a dead-end job or no job at all, you may have a dreary marriage or a lonely romantic life (or both) but they will fade as you experience the pure power rush that comes from driving extremely close to someone else’s bumper.

“But it feels so stupid?”

In the psychology realm, we call this “emotional reasoning.” Your senses (honed over millions of years of evolution) tell you “this is extremely dangerous.” Your eyes see how close you are, while your other senses feel just how fast you are going. Meanwhile, your intellect tells you that you would have no time to react should some kind of incident occur on the road (like the car in front of you needing to slow down or brake abruptly).

When tailgating makes you feel stupid, just ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” And then, after you’ve answered, “I could kill myself, all the people in the car in front of me, all my passengers and perhaps people in other nearby vehicles,” pretend you never posed the question and get down to tailgating.

“Isn’t tailgating illegal?”

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Yes, next question.

“What’s a tailgating recipe?”

We get this one a lot. Ironically, there is another kind of tailgating that involves conviviality and fellowship. It’s when fans of sports teams (mostly football) meet together in parking lots outside a stadium with their vehicles and they barbecue and party with one another. The mood is light and festive with music and laughter; it’s the opposite of the tailgating you do on the highway. Popular tailgating recipes include: Charleston cheese dip, cowboy caviar and bratwursts.

The traditional “Recipe for Tailgating” is as follows:

Take one driver with utter disregard for others.

Add automobile.

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Trigger rage and apply liberally to the bumper in front.

Garnish with a ride in an ambulance.

“If someone is driving slow and I want them to move over, couldn’t I just flash my lights?”

You sure could, but where’s the thrill? You’re not jeopardizing anyone! The whole point of tailgating is turning internal rage into external threat. It’s a bizarre alchemy that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Besides, if you do it at night the police could charge you for “dazzling” the driver in front of you.

“Any final piece of advice?”

Make sure to sign your organ donor card.

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