Lifestyle General Soothing the Savage
Soothing the Savage


Escalating figures for road rage are just the beacon illuminating exactly how ticked off we all are with our fellow man. Having toyed for two thousand years with the Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbour' Perth has collectively voted for ‘punching the lights out of random passers-by’ and chosen to play the hate card instead. Apparently it's a thin line.

Wardell-Wendy-Ms-cropped Mar14130x110 Wendy Wardell

While we might think that we only turn gladiatorial behind the wheel of our Hyundai Chariot, we're fooling no-one but ourselves.

Even the few West Australians who aren't high on a NUTRiBULLET of kale, Krispy Kreme Doughnut and methamphetamine have the everyday bonhomie of a grizzly bear undergoing a Brazilian wax.

Look around your waiting rooms – you’ll see wrinklies prepared to take you out with their walking stick if you keep them waiting more than five minutes.

It’s dangerous to even be nice to people. Smile at a stranger on the street and they react as if you're about stick a poisoned umbrella tip in their thigh.

The majority of us have homes, sufficient food and an absence of people trying to kill us, so on a world view, we should be pretty high up the 'quietly smug' scale, leading to the possible conclusion that fluoride in the water is inducing irrational rage.Or perhaps it is the conviction that everyone else is out to pull a number on us that makes everyone so antsy.

Plumbers could be to blame; in my experience they generally are all out to pull a number on us. (Understandable really – given their stock in trade; their sentiments towards human life and its processes aren't going to be terribly warm and fuzzy.)

Dave-Freeman-Road-Rage Mar15We could consider putting different chemicals in the water.

Go to Byron Bay and you'll see motorists smile and stop for pedestrians who even vaguely look like they might want to cross a road somewhere at some future point in their lives.

Sadly, in Perth it may be easier to legislate against the causes of violence than to stop the violence itself, resulting in a gamut of new offences.

Police on the beat in Northbridge on a Saturday night will be on the lookout for the potential felonies of ‘driving a poofy car' or 'looking at me funny'.

Charges may even be upgraded to 'possession of a later model iPhone than mine' or 'causing affray by wearing the wrong shirt with those pants'.

Prison is definitely not the answer though; it's one place not to send people you hope will adopt a sunnier approach to life. Well, there and Gosnells.

Luckily though, I have the answer. Music.

In its digitally downloaded form, all that's required is a little enforced manipulation of our playlists. Yes – we’re treading the path that U2 went down last year, but with much better content.

Certain songs have the power to uplift and more importantly, to unite us all.

Forget turgid national anthems imposing girt-ness upon us or folksy encouragements to sheep rustling.

I challenge anyone on hearing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody to not stop what they are doing and falsetto along with 'Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?'

I have witnessed this song turn a restive, ticked-off mob into an arm-waving, fellow-man-loving bunch of pussycats.

No doubt there are other songs with a similar power to placate, but the choice needs to be made with caution.

Anyone plays Phil Collins at me and the fluffy bunny gets it.