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
your little dance for the Green Light Gods?" Louis would ask.
happy they're not asking for a sacrifice," I warned, "I'd gladly waste
so knowing in the ways of gas
don't we just keep going to the Alabama border?
There will be
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.
don't jerk the car around looking for a green light, just sit and
what you want, but there's a lawman right over there."
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.
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
normal," Louis said without taking his eyes off the red light, "What
would a normal person be doing?"
as far from you as possible."
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."
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!'"
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.
don't need to tell you, but if you're carrying anything illegal ball-sack
most illegal thing I have are my balls," I joked, hoping to chill Louis out
from the enduring red light.
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."
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."
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
was at my window, a lot shorter than I thought he'd be.
boys aren't from around here?"
what you're sitting at here is the kind of red light that just blinks.
just to stop at then move on."
his head out of the passenger side window and stared.
The red light turned off. Seven
seconds later, it returned.
it blinks. Just a little slow is
all. I thought I'd just come out
and tell you. You both
funny just sitting out here. Ha-ha."
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