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Stop Sign

“Freedom” as screamed by Mel Gibson

I have a pet peeve about traffic lights. When forced to stop for no good reason, it’s vexing, particularly when it happens again and again down the same stretch of road. One stop can be a pleasant diversion reminding me to smell the roses, but if I have to stop more than once, I can erupt into a profane soliloquy about the ass-hat who times the signals.

For misguided reasons, I spent time away from Alberta, and when I came back, lived in Red Deer and commuted to Lacombe. There were pros and cons for moving to Lacombe, but Red Deer’s randomly timed traffic lights tipped the balance. If you’re from Edmonton, think of pulling off the Whitemud onto 149th street and day after day having to stop at every light until the Yellowhead. I’m not sure what the 149th street run is like now, but it used to be like winning the drivers lotto. Light after light as you approached intersections would magically turn green. Red Deer still has some of the worst timed lights in the free world, and added greenhouse gases likely exceed combined emissions from greater Vancouver nail salons.

After moving to Lacombe, I had years of traffic bliss, with one light between home and work. It was a straight shot, with enough distance to the light to regulate my speed so I rarely had to stop. And then it happened. Pulling out of my apartment parking lot one day there was a sign proclaiming “NEW”. Half a block away stood a brand-new stop sign. My number of potential stops on the way to work doubled overnight. Blind rage, years of therapy and short holidays in Ponoka flashed before my eyes. But fear not dear friends, you already know the rest of the story. Before long, I bought and moved into a house on the other side of the stop sign.

When life hands you stop signs, don’t let them take your freedom. Recognize and exercise your options to accept or move to where they don’t bug you.

Harold Splatt, a long time resident of Lacombe Alberta, provides us with his colourful commentary on life as he sees it.

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