Big Brother is Watching  and Getting a Good Laugh at Your Sorry Ass

-By the Casual Swiss

I am a firm believer in Invisible Traffic Light Sensors. They are out there. A man with lesser faith would say, "The green light doesn't know you're there.  It was going to turn green anyway."  Bullshit.  It knows. When it was my turn to drive the Dodge on our zigzag path north, I would try to stop on top of where I thought the sensors were.  If the light wouldn't change right away, I'd put the car in reverse and send it back and forth until I believed I tripped the Invisible Traffic Light Sensor.

"Doing your little dance for the Green Light Gods?" Louis would ask.

"Be happy they're not asking for a sacrifice," I warned, "I'd gladly waste you for a quick green light." 

For someone so knowing in the ways of gas station bathroom motion detectors, Louis had very little faith in the magic of Invisible Traffic Light Sensors. Louis and I were close to the border of Louisiana and Mississippi.  We got off the highway so Louis could vandalize the only gas station exit three had. 

"Why don't we just keep going to the Alabama border?  There will be vending machines...Zag-Nuts!"

The idea of scribbling black-markered messages on the more than twenty welcome center stalls did appeal to Louis, but he did not want the small town's Exxon to go unmarked either.  Usual: procedure: ask directions on getting back to the highway as Louis goes in the Men's Room armed with a thick marker.  In-Out and on our way.  It was about one a.m./one thirty, no traffic and everything was uneventful until I reached a red light.

"Swiss, don't jerk the car around looking for a green light, just sit and wait for it," Louis instructed.

"Non believer."

"Believe what you want, but there's a lawman right over there." 

Sure enough, we were stopped at the only traffic light in town, next to the only coffee shop in town, with the only sheriff in town sitting by the window. The fact that we just wrote on the walls of the only gas station in town wasn't enough to make us nervous.  But that our get away was a stolen '73 Dodge put us both on edge enough not to draw attention to ourselves by jumping the car around.

No real panicking started until the light refused to turn green.  Three full minutes clicked by.  The light was still red, we still sat there, the sheriff was now looking right at us.

"Act normal," Louis said without taking his eyes off the red light, "What would a normal person be doing?"

"Running as far from you as possible."

"No...a normal person would be board." Louis slouched and began whistling Brass Monkey.  "Start tapping you fingers against something.  I already was. Another full minute passes.  "We must not be on the sensor."

"Shut-up!  There are no sensors!  We're just in the south.  Things are like; Molasses Slow, Old Black Joe,  'We're just plain folks, we don't mind a ten minute red light!'"

 I looked over at the sheriff who was the source of Louis' present anxiety.  He was eating a sandwich. Another minute later, the light was still red.

 "I don't need to tell you, but if you're carrying anything illegal ball-sack it."

"The most illegal thing I have are my balls," I joked, hoping to chill Louis out from the enduring red light.

"We're going to have to kill the cop," Louis blurted, "This is all their trap.  They set up the never the never-ending stop light adjacent to the sitting cop and let people sweat until they start confessing shit."

"I disagree.  Why, all over America late at night traffic lights make people stop what they're doing and wait.  No cars come, the government just set these things up so you could have a few seconds of your life to think about where you're going.  It's very Zen."

"Did you just pull Zen out of your ass again?  Hell, a traffic light system of sitting and waiting for nothing is more like the middle level of Hades than enforced self-reflection."  Louis had turned on me but at least it got his mind off the sheriff. 


The sheriff was at my window, a lot shorter than I thought he'd be.  "Yes officer?"

"You boys aren't from around here?"


"Well what you're sitting at here is the kind of red light that just blinks.

You know, just to stop at then move on."

Louis leaned his head out of the passenger side window and stared.  The red light turned off.  Seven seconds later, it returned.

"See, it blinks.  Just a little slow is all.  I thought I'd just come out and tell you.  You both

looked awful funny just sitting out here.  Ha-ha."

Cop didn't think it was so funny when we blew him away.  Okay, so we didn't blow him away.  The sheriff chuckled all the way back to his squad car.  The System had gotten us on this one.  Humbled, we left the intersection six minutes older than when we stopped.

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