Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dig: Turning Left on Red on a One-Way Street


Laws don't really hurt my feelings. I'm a fairly upstanding citizen so I don't feel pinched by rules that don't allow me to take someone's TV without asking (also called "stealing"), for instance. Despite the opportunity a year ago to leave a body behind in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina where it would just blend in with a bunch of other dead folks, I've resisted the urge to kill anyone so I'm able to move about in society unencumbered by a big heavy thing around my ankle.

Assuming that all the dumb people took the day off from driving, tooling the down the road in my Passat/Shark-mobile is a pretty controlled event. You got your speed limit which I mostly abide by. You got your driving on the right, passing on the left thing. And you got your various Stop/Yield/Red/Yellow/Green thing. Red always means stop, right? Or does it?! Suppose I stop. And then I go. With no green involvement whatsoever. Yep, you read it here first. I'll stop for the briefest of moments and then I'll go about my turning, thank you very little. Making a right turn may not be too special, but I feel a little dirty when I'm turning left on a red light on a one-way street. How you like me now?!

Oh, the freedom! Turning left on a one-way is a free pass, man! It's "cuts" in line, baby! It's finding a Titleist when you really lost an X-Out! It's finding one more beer behind the expired cottage cheese! The Man is not going to get me down today! Badges? We don't need no stinking badges! I don't feel like stopping, I feel more like pausing. The rest of you sheep, you just sit there while we Movers and Shakers take over the world. No red light is gonna keep me down. You Straights can just watch us Left-Turners motor while you sit there listening to what is, undoubtedly, bad music on the radio.

And how about the look on the people's faces who don't know about this little loophole? If it's someone behind me who also wants to turn left, they kind of get that look that says "Huh, wha... That good-looking guy in that sweet car just turned left on a red light. Good God, is there no end to his bravery? He must have the strength of ten men!" The people on the one-way street get the look that says "Look at that guy. He's employing the old "Turning Left on Red on a One-Way Street" strategy. He's a bloody genius! And good-looking too! Oh, to be him...." Meanwhile, I go on my merry way feeling dirty - in a good kind of way.

This feeling is similar to the one I described in a previous post about taking the day off of work. It's called freedom, my friends. The Boston Tea Party's got nothing on me. Even though laws don't really get in my way, I'm more than happy to get a little lawless every once in a while. For those of you who are thinking that my life must be pretty mundane if "lawless" means turning my car when I normally shouldn't, you are correct. Some people find excitement by stealing the change machine out of a laundromat but that's a little too out there for me. At the same time, I do get a little crazy sometimes and leave the TV on when I leave the room. The Left on Red trick is as nutty as I get.

Before I suggest that you break free of your bonds and put this little secret to use, I should probably do some research to see if it is indeed legal everywhere to do this. And yet, I'm not going to do that. I implore you to just do it anyway. The birds will sing and rays of sunshine will penetrate even the darkest cloud as you leave the Straights in your dust. Enjoy your freedom and ask not what your country can do for you because all we have to fear is fear itself!

1 comment:

Bo is not a prong! said...

Sorry to say, but your left-on-red excitement still leaves you as the same-ole white bread, law-abiding sort of middle class dude you always were. Section 612(1)(c)(ii) of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code provides, in relevant part, as follows:

"Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal, after stopping . . . may make a left turn from a 1-way or 2-way street into a 1-way roadway carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn, unless prohibited by sign, signal, marking, light, or other traffic control device."

Sorry to burst your bubble. Perhaps you can drown your sorrows with a fifth of blackberry brandy, washed down with w/a California Cooler chaser.