Saturday, August 11, 2007

In Defence of the Toll Hikes

(January 2005. The National Toll Roads Authority announce that charges are to increase by thirty cent, a “once-off charge to offset the cost of widening the West Link”)

The toll-bridge levies have increased,
And motorists are fuming.
They claim that we are being fleeced,
And rip-off Ireland’s booming.
Surely there is no defence
For upping charges thirty cents?

This sudden hike to cross a bridge
By far outstrips inflation.
One-eighty for the privilege
Of using their toll-station?
And where is found the recompense
For dishing out our thirty cents?

But why the ire at this new charge?
Why label it extortion?
We motorists have, by and large,
Lost all sense of proportion.
Forsooth, it makes a lot of sense
To charge an extra thirty cents.

For we’ve become a frantic breed,
Our lives keep getting quicker,
Tasks are done at breakneck speed,
Performances are slicker.
Stress is making people tense,
And hyper over thirty cents.

But at the toll-booths, nothing moves,
And life slows down completely.
This brief hiatus amply proves
That God still smiles down sweetly.
The welcome stillness is immense
And worth a measly thirty cents.

‘Twixt office and its non-stop phones,
And home, with children screaming,
This tranquil respite soothes our bones,
And gives us time for dreaming.
And yet, we baulk at the expense
Of handing over thirty cents?

An hour to travel half a mile?
Oh, how that prospect pleases!
We face it with a cheery smile,
As traffic quickly freezes.
Sometimes we are not grateful, hence
The lather over thirty cents.

So don’t begrudge the toll-bridge folk
The extra charge they levy.
Compare it to the cost to smoke
Or go out for a bevvy.
Oh, how could we all be so dense
To whinge about this thirty cents?

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