I was walking in downtown Portsmouth recently when I saw one car cut off another.

Down came the window of the offended; out came the arm. As it pulled aside the offender, I knew what was coming.

Until I didn’t. For instead of seeing this…

I saw this:

“Wow!” I thought. “New Hampshire is so nice, we’ve even cleaned up our road rage!”

But then, I saw it again while crossing the street in Lynn, Massachusetts.

It turns out the switch from the One-Fingered Salute to the Siskel & Ebert is not exclusive to the Granite State; in fact, New England has seen a rise in this newly impactful gesture.

According to the New York Post, the trending-up of a big thumbs-down is a “Gen Z thing,” with kids these days saying that a thumbs down is actually a bigger insult.

And with this I agree. Think of the first time you saw a middle finger from another driver (likely at the Portsmouth Traffic Circle, somewhere on 495, or around a corner on Storrow Drive).

As a child, you probably had no idea what it meant. Perhaps another motorist was proposing marriage to your grandparent, or informing your dad of a rare green comet overhead.

But everyone knows what a thumbs down means. There’s no way to lie yourself out of that one if you’ve got kids; next thing you know, a police officer will be asking you to step out of the vehicle and sit crisscross applesauce.

And if you think it’s bad when another driver does it, imagine getting a robotic thumbs-down from your own truck returning itself to the dealership.

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