Once a week, I drive to a town TwentyMilesAway rather than the usual ten. I go to TenMilesAway and get on the highway, and our destination is just off an exit that’s another ten miles away. Under ordinary circumstances it takes 35 minutes, but there was one pre-holiday weekend where it took over an hour due to a thousand-mile backup the entire length of the interstate.
The next time I did the drive, I had an odd thought as I pulled out of the driveway: what if every light was green on the way in? I didn’t think much of that until I’d passed through ten lights, all of them green.
In the greater Angelborough area (which I should put in quotes) the lights are synchronized, somewhat. There are no lights between towns, but when you reach the town center, there will be three or four traffic lights, and if you approach them right, you might make it through all of them on the same shot. Of course the towns aren’t synchronized with each other, and there’s one stop light in the middle of nowhere which, I assume, leads to the home of the Town Planning Commissioner, who just happens to live at the top of Particle Board Road and doesn’t like to wait to make a left.
(If you live in this area, you know which street I’m talking about and can stop giggling now.)
Anyhow, as I sailed through the green at Particle Board Road this one day, I realized none of the lights so far had been red. And right through TenMilesAway, they were all green. And beyond that. And then up to the highway.
I thought angelward, Thanks — that’s funny.
When we got off the highway, though, I just missed the green for that first light (although I got very close to making it) and then, a mile later, I pointed out, There’s no way to make it through both of these last two lights. The last two lights are a left turn onto a street that immediately has another light. When one light changes, so does the other, for the very good reason that otherwise all the cars would crash into each other and no one would be happy.
For the record, I don’t think the angel was holding the lights for me. Sometimes that seems to have happened, but since so much of driving is instinctual, I believe it’s easier to have me subtly modulate my driving speed so I reach the lights at the proper intervals.
Last week, when I got off the highway at Twenty Miles Away, I shot through the first light, found the second at a green arrow, and then approached that last couplet. I made the left with the light changing to yellow over my head, and just as I got to the next intersection, the light turned green and I went right through.
I thought, How’d you do that? And when I felt what I thought was laughter in response, I thought, Showoff. And then I giggled because it was so cool.