Red Light, Road Rage

Red lights are like people; I fucking hate them.  They’re always in the way, interrupting my forward progress; and more times than I can count, almost caused me to piss myself.  The only redeeming quality they hold that puts them one notch above humans is the fact they can’t speak.

I know it’s egocentric to believe I’m the only person on earth who gets stuck at traffic lights, but I swear I hold some sort of modern Egyptian curse which ensures I hit every red light between my starting point and hell.  I felt that I hit an unfair amount of red lights so much so, that for 45 days, I recorded every single light I came upon, and whether it was red or green.  Most of you are probably looking at me with the same expression that I received from anyone else I told beforehand.  It’s most likely a mixture of confusion, ‘are you fucking serious’, and more confusion…as in: “Why the fuck would you want to do that, idiot.  That’s a huge waste of time.  You’re beyond retarded and you’re literally too stupid to insult.” 

I can’t say that I would argue, however, I felt some strange and strong compulsion to do it anyway; much like crying during sex or insulting every vegan I meet (seriously, it’s like freaking Tourettes when I’m around them).

So July 14, 2011 I decided to start keeping track.  This was decidedly more difficult than I originally anticipated.  For one, I’m left handed and because I live in America, only my right hand was available to put pen to the paper sitting on my center console. 

Second, making any sort of legible mark what-so-ever while driving is both difficult and dangerous.  My notepad looked more like a 4 year old with Parkinson’s was taking the data.

Third, I had to come up with a system of recording these lights that was both efficient and safe.  Hash marks represented green lights (made sense to do the easiest marks for greens due to the fact I was still…you know, driving); and plus signs represented reds. 

Finally, I had to create a set of guidelines:

a.)    No matter how many cycles the light went through, it was still counted as only one light.

b.)    Lights would only be tracked when I was the driver.

c.)     For it to be considered a red light, I had to come to a complete stop (even if the light had changed to green).

Over the next 45 days, I created an excel spread sheet, calculating totals and averages for a wide variety of mind-bogglingly stupid statistics; I became entirely obsessed with the process and it had a strange affect on me…I began hoping for red lights.  Every red light I stopped at was further proof that God hated me and wanted nothing more than to simply fuck with Grayson Jack; to make him late for everything.  For once, I was going to have the proof needed to show everyone that I wasn’t crazy and that I really did happen upon every single red light…and we all know how well it goes over when the insane try to convince the masses that they are indeed, not insane and that there really is a conspiracy against them…

Can anyone guess what the results looked like?  Logic dictates there’s pretty much a 50/50 chance of either red or green and the stats should reflect a fairly evenly-distributed   representation of that.  It also must be noted that I did not take into account variables such as rush hour, which could have had possible influences on light frequency. 

I have to say that within the first week, I knew I was in for a surprise.  You can check out the full results in the picture to the left, but the short and skinny of it is as follows:

1,839 – 45 day total (red/green)

1,035 – 45 day total (green)

804 –     45 day total (red)

That’s right, less than half my lights were red; as a matter of fact, only 43.7% were red.  But that didn’t deter me; because that too was further proof God was just fucking with me.  He wanted everyone to think I was crazy!  God was playing mind games with me; so you see?!  It’s obvious; God is jacking with me, right?  Guys?!  I’m not crazy!  Really…I’m not!

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13 Responses to “Red Light, Road Rage”
  1. Loved this! I am exactly the same way when it comes to grocery store lines, like no matter which one I’m in, the machine will either break down, someone will try to pay (3 or 4 people up) with a card that just doesn’t work, or someone else will pull out that dreaded “bag of change”. And it seems as I get older, this only gets worse. I couldn’t possibly be my perception, could it?

    • graysonjack says:

      First off, thanks for reading and liking it! Second, I’m sad now because you said it only gets worse as you get older. Since I just started this reformation, that just means I have more years for my red-light road rage to get worse. Anyway, I definitely know what you mean about the grocery store…I try to avoid that place at all costs, not just because of the lines, but everyone there that is involved with the entire experience. I definitely don’t think it’s your perception; I just think there’s some kind of Lost/Fringe conspiracy going on against certain people like us. Gotta search out the truth!

  2. BrainRants says:

    My friend, not only would I also do an experiment of this nature myself, but I would probably have more categories than you and run it for a full year. Thou art not whack.

    What I really want to know is – because I think I have the same curse as you do – what would happen if you and I were in the same car? Would the curses cancel and we’d be green all the way to hell and back? Or, worse, would they either additively or multiplicatively combine, effectively preventing us from getting more than two blocks from where we start?

    • graysonjack says:

      I have no doubt in my mind that you would! And thank you for making me feel just a tad bit more sane. As for you and I riding together; I don’t think they would cancel out. I think it would take us an hour and a half just to get from the house to the main road…and it’s only a 100 yards away.

  3. No seriously demented individual could possibly produce a spreadsheet of this quality and significance. However, it must be acknowledged there do exist several lesser mental conditions that would not necessarily hinder such a feat.

    Grayson, sweetie, you’ve been taking the meds the doctor prescribed, right?

    • graysonjack says:

      Haha…I don’t know exactly what to think about that. So I’m crazy just not bat-shit crazy? I can live with that. I always love your comments. As for the meds, well, I tried to stop but apparently court orders and family blah blah blah, state mandate…judge, yadda yadda yadda…had to start them up again…

  4. chrisdevoss says:

    I’ve felt the same way some days. I can’t believe your numbers were wrong! Oh, well.

    As a kid, did you hate the playground game: Red Light/Green Light as well?

  5. PD Williams says:

    LOL!! Always knew you were a little “touched” (my mom’s term), but you could be worse. You could be an accountant. And had you been, your spreadsheet would have proven exactly the point you wanted it to. It’s not in the numbers, it’s in their creative interpretation and presentation. A good accountant could have proven that the gods had conspired to fuck with you 😉

    • graysonjack says:

      Oh hell no. I couldn’t be an accountant…literally. I took accounting 3 times in college and failed it every time. I could not focus for long enough to get past chapter one…debits and credits. Good Lord that was the most boring class I ever took…period. Maybe I should hire you to do my spreadsheets; you sound quite knowledgable on them. You could help me prove to family and friends that it’s the devil! I like your moms term by the way…reminds me of my mom a little. Any time I did something wrong she would say, “that’s the devil and you’re going to hell!” She was a fire and brimstone kinda women. Anyway, as always, I love your comments! Thank you so much!

  6. Evil Bekka says:

    LOL. This is awesome. Sounds like something I’d do — I mostly use Excel for proving points instead of you know, budgeting or tracking useful information. God in particular probably doesn’t have time to mess with your commute, but there are lesser deities known as the Traffic Gods who take great glee in stunts like that. They are surely messing with you. And laughing. Get a gargoyle hood ornament or some other totem of meaning to you to hang from your rearview mirror — it distracts them long enough to squeeze through on yellows.
    Or use the Force as you approach lights to change them to green — my husband says I’ll get Dark Side points for doing that though… personal gain and all…
    I love that you did this. seriously.

    • graysonjack says:

      Yes! Traffic gods, that makes more sense haha. They go with the technology gods I mentioned in an earlier post. I’ll have to look into the gargoyle thing. Is it kind of like the gremlin bell I had on my motorcycle to ward off crashes?

      • Evil Bekka says:

        If the gremlin bell worked on the motorcycle, then I’d use it on your car too as it’s a proven solution. If it didn’t work… well, find something that’s the opposite of that. Yay for scientific superstition!

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