Ordinarily, I would welcome the distraction of colored lights. I would revel in their ephemeral, continually-changing array, and delight in the sense of whimsy they brought to the hard urban landscape.
But I don’t. I hate them. They are my sworn enemy.
It doesn't matter whether they're mounted on the ground or suspended in the air. They make my upper lip curl in an Elvis-like sneer. They just can’t win with me. I hate the long ones, and I hate the short ones.
And how the hell do they always know to turn red as I'm approaching, anyway? It's motion detectors, right?
I’ve lost track of the times I’ve seen two-dozen drivers on an enormous, six-lane boulevard come to a stop at the scrawny driveway of a dilapidated strip mall only to stare at an empty intersection. What end does it serve? What point does it make?
I’m convinced traffic signals are set by an evil consortium of brake pad manufacturers and oil companies.
But that's not all. I also hate the way they keep traffic compacted into a tight little knot until the next light. It’s like a rolling pressure cooker. Lane changes require elevated levels of testosterone.
The kid subjecting his car to death via hip-hop is invariably next to you. And if you couldn’t assume the next light was red, you wouldn’t be able to see it for the lumbering SUV in front of you.
Aside from making a powerful argument for Libertarians and insuring that our trips take as long and contain as many stops as possible, I really can’t think of a good use for traffic signals.
Maybe I should call Martha Stewart. She might know how to turn them into planters. Or mailboxes.
Anything would be more useful.