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1 2 3 Red Light

by Grant Woodhams 9 months ago in Short Story

Don't Stop Me

I was just thinking.

You know when you say green light the first thing I think about is that old pop bubblegum song 1 2 3 Red Light. It ain't green you know and then I think about how someone once told me that in Russia red lights mean go. You stop on the green, but I've never been to Russia so I don't really know and I've never been bothered to google it or go on the internet and find out, so it doesn't really matter. I got my drivers' licence the first time I sat for it when I was seventeen so by now I must have been through one hundred thousand green lights or maybe more. But I have only ever been through a couple of reds that I know, but that was because I wasn't paying attention. No damage done because there was no one else around and no automatic cameras on the lights that took photos of you and then sent you a letter including a traffic infringement. Green Lights. I can see them now lots of them up and down all sorts of streets, roads and highways all over the world. I wonder who had the idea that green would be a good colour to have on a set of traffic lights. I bet he (I reckon it was a man) didn't put a patent on it though. How could you patent a colour? And then just for the sake of consistency all those other countries, except the Russians, went with green to show the drivers in their cars that it was good to go. But I have stopped sometimes at a green light because I've been unconsciously extra cautious and thought I should stop at an intersection. Its green a passenger, a daughter, a wife will say and off I'll go again. Or maybe I am part Russian or Ukrainian or Latvian or some descendent of a country in the former USSR. I wonder if the Czar ever got to see a red light? I know most of you are going to find this hard to believe but the first traffic light was made in London, England in 1868. So there is a good chance the Czar might have seen a traffic light in Moscow because he wasn't assassinated until 1918. I liked those lights that swung in the breeze on lonely intersections in small town in rural America. They would be strung on some electric wire and have four sets of green, amber and red globes on their rectangular construction. Beats me how they didn't fall down sometimes because the wind could get awful strong especially in winter when snow storms came through. I drive a lot, or I used to until I started doing a lot of walking and sometimes I see where someone has run into a traffic light. Not the ones that swing in the breeze but the ones that are attached to a solid pole, often painted yellow that sit on the four corners of the intersection. I've been thinking we had green lights before we had automobiles because there must have been a lot of horse drawn carriages in London for them to need a traffic signal. I guess when the cars eventually came along thanks to Mr Carl Benz everyone was used to those lights and they just decided to keep them. Now there is another question I'd like to ask about green lights. If you imagine that traffic signal in your mind then the green light is always on the bottom never on the top like the red or in the middle like the amber or yellow. I like to say amber it sounds much more technical. But you hardly ever get the amber light for anything other than a traffic signal. How come green on the bottom? It rained today and I went out to look at the rainbows because there were several to be seen. Not all at once, but every now and then one would appear in the sky. Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. Did you know you can see through a rainbow? No pot of gold either. But you might think I have gone off topic because it is green lights I want to tell you about. Those green lights in the sky. Have you seen them? If you live in the northern hemisphere they are called 'Aurora borealis' and in the southern hemisphere 'Aurora australis'. They are not always green, sometimes they can be other colours but green is the most common. I'd like to be a scientist and explain more about these lights to you, but I'm not so I'll just stick to telling you to keep a look out for them, apparently they are quite spectacular and get a lot of folks real worked up. Well that's about as much as I know about green lights. I do know a few other things about green like a person can be green with envy or a person can just be very green. And apparently these are two massively different things although it can be the same person. And I'm not even going to start on how some environmental groups have commandeered the colour green and made it their own. For some folks now green has other connotations apart from jealousy and inexperience. Just for reference last year Beyonce made millions and millions of dollars from her singing and one of her songs was called Green Light. I didn't much like it though. And further reference re Green Light, back in 1937 Errol Flynn, made a movie by the same name. Can't say whether I liked it. I don't think I've seen it. Maybe I did when I was a kid, but I have forgotten. And finally referencing Taylor Swift you almost ran the red light because you were looking over at me.

Short Story

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Grant Woodhams

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