Saturday, April 24, 2010

A New York Minute

“The smallest measurable amount of time in the universe. Approximately equal to the time between a traffic light turning green in New York City and the person behind you honking his horn.” (

Wilkes-Barre is a fairly low-pressure place; when you need to get onto a street, or make a turn, you’re likely to get waved through. There’s a bridge with a light at the end and it’s pretty much customary that two more cars will go through the red. There are streets where people often pass on the right.

A twenty-some or thirty-some gal behind me violated our easy-going rule today. As the light changed, she hit her horn; I glanced at the mirror to see what the problem was. Next light, same thing. I usually don’t hang out deciding if they’ve been green long enough; light turns, I’m outta there. But Hilda Hornblower feels differently.

At the next stop, she’s in the left turn lane, so I can’t see if she’s going to do it again, and there aren’t any cars ahead of her. I’m no fan of road rage, but there must be something I could do which would express my feelings without getting shot.

I could always stick my hand out the window and hold up all five fingers. While she’s trying to figure out what that means, I’d be well on my way. Next light, same thing: light turns, she honks, I give five fingers, she thinks “huh?” and we continue along. It could be fun.


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