by Robert Adcox
The other day, while joining my fellow townsfolk in that automotive conga line known as commuting, it occurred to me that even though the traffic light was green no one was actually moving. That was of no concern, initially; maybe someone’s Subaru broke down. Everyone, at one time or another, has suffered some kind of mechanical malfunction. For some, it’s a flat tire. For others, the ignition proves to be the culprit. I assumed, from within my mental comfort zone, that some automotive recall-in-the-works was the cause of this forty-tire tardiness.
And then I saw her.
The line wasn’t moving because Myrna was fixing her hairdo.
Apparently, she wasn’t notified by the DMV to, um, pay attention to traffic lights. That comes in handy when you’re trying not to anger We The Great Unwashed lined in queue behind you. Myrna, clearly, missed out on a key point in driver’s ed:
Green means go.
While you’re mulling that profundity over, place it in the context of the guy in the Honda behind you. He was trying his meditative best not to roll down his window to announce to the valley that the green light does, in fact, signal the speedometer trek to thirty. No, Honda guy wasn’t looking for trouble. He simply wanted to get to work before the cobwebs between the steering wheel and his forehead became too thick to see through. Seriously, Myrna, your hairdo was lovely. Had you kept patting all that fluff, I feared it might spring back and give you carpal tunnel. Oh, and the guy who was in the red pickup behind me says to pass this along to you: >HOOOOOOOONK<
Now that we have the formalities out of the way, dear, why, exactly, do you insist on sitting at these green lights? You certainly weren’t this patient at any of the four yellow lights three miles behind you, if the overturned cement mixer, fuel-air explosion, and downed Cessna were any indications. I’m reasonably certain you’re a very sweet lady when you’re not Danica Patricking your way along 419, so why not express that positive character trait en route to work? Inducing PTSD to a minivan filled with nine kids, a St. Bernard, and a lady who already looked like she might set herself on fire and bail out of the driver’s seat is no worthy means of producing an end. In your case, that end is apparently to get to the supermarket for another twenty-seven cans of hairspray.
Myrna, satisfied at last that her de rigueur bouffant was sufficiently aerodynamic to risk rolling down the driver’s window in order to let the cigarette smoke billow out, expressed her parting shot to those who had suffered her colorblindedness to the color green for the past six miles. By flooring it through one more yellow light (and thereby nearly scaring an entire VDOT crew into running astride a guardrail in a very large truck), the enchantress of Electric Road had assured herself of making it to work on time, with a perfectly coifed ‘do and a near-certain guarantee that not all of the doughnuts had yet been eaten.
Oh, I made it to work on time, as did, I hope, the others who made it through all those green lights you felt needed quality time. We’ll discuss that at some future point, I suppose -when you’re not busy ignoring traffic lights in favor of your follicular vanity. As for me, I’m a seasoned pro at dealing with the rigors of commuting.
But then, I know that green means go.