When you’re about town in your Cadillac Escalade, please take the time to participate in a courtesy wave when the situation calls for it. You might be asking yourself, “Old chap, what exactly is a courtesy wave, and how ever will I know when to administer said gesture?”

A courtesy wave is a brief acknowledgement to another driver who has shown you unusual vehicular kindness. The wave usually manifests itself as a curt non-offensive hand gesture. Whether someone has given you the ‘you first’ signal at a 4-way stop, or they have deliberately given you enough space to pull into line after you drove past the 6 miles of ‘Right Lane Will End, Merge Now’ signs, a courtesy wave is in order.

To be frank, the wave has nothing to do with courtesy and everything to do with motor-vehicle social stratification. Letting someone go first makes us feel better about ourselves and therefore superior to the other motorist. Your hand signal not only validates our superiority (You are now in our debt), but reaffirms our belief that other drivers are in fact, mindless idiots who, if not for our fateful intervention, would be left waiting at the side of the road forever subsiding only on rubberized tractor trailer tire shreds and roadkill for sustenance.

So the next time a courtesy wave opportunity presents itself don’t be shy, let that hand fly!