Friday, January 15, 2010

On Red and Red Lights

As I hit about six red lights in a row the other day, it occurred to me that I hit one about 85% of the time I drive up to an intersection. Why is it? One would think the odds would be 50-50.
Have you ever noticed that red lights seem last forever? That they are twice as long as green lights?
Red lights strike terror in us. Holy Frijoley, a $250 ticket! The camera on the light posts is forever vigilant.
Did you hear that California's illustrious Governor wants to attach a device to the camera that can also record the speed at which you cross the intersection? That means not just a possible ticket for crossing a red light, but another for speeding through an intersection! Got to make up that 80 billion dollar budget deficit somehow.
We race through yellow lights just to avoid one. Sometimes, during commute hours we have to endure two or three red lights in a row, just to get across an interersection!!
The color red seems to have a historical connotation to things of terror: war, blood (The red in the Mexican flag symbolizes the bloodshed of wars and revolutions), violence, passion, love and jealousy. We send a red rose to signify love. Mars is red. Commies were "reds." Then, there are the red-necks, people go "red-in-the-face". E-gads, I used to have red hair!!
Then there is the red of "red-light districts" of old, houses of ill-repute.
Have you ever noticed how when you drive up to an intersection and you see one of those "will-work-for-money" guys standing there, and no matter how much you speed up, the light always turns red? His sign looms in your window, rattling your self-importance. You fidget, toss and squirm knowing you have a wad in your wallet, or you just cashed your check.
Those red lights are far longer. Maybe it's Karma. You console yourself with the usual moral justifications for not giving of "well, the guy probably has a Mercedes parked around the corner", or "why don't they get a job, like me?"
I am just asking for justice, for equality. That some Cosmic-Power-That-Be see to it that we get equal time, a balanced amount of green vs. red lights. Would that asking too much?