A Day in the Shoes of the Traffic Light
Illustration by Mar Eway
It’s 12 noon and it’s the same old day.
I have the best job ever. I stand here every single day, under the direct heat of the sun, telling people what to do and what not to do. Yes, I give out commands without fail. And without fail, my commands are ignored.
It’s 3:00 p.m. and my spot light is still out.
People literally look up to me! One could say I was put in a very strategic location. But of course, one can only say that if one’s strategy was humiliation.
It’s 6:00 p.m. and people are rushing.
Oh, pish-posh! So what if they don’t listen to me? That doesn’t make me useless. It just makes me an avoidable expense.
Avoidable expense (n)
(1) A fancy way of saying useless
(2) A politically correct term used by traffic lights to describe themselves so as not to hurt their feelings and that of their brothers
It’s 10 p.m. and my audience is growing less and less.
But who cares? My performance is endless. They’ve put me up here where everybody can see me and I’m going to take advantage of that. My vision shows that a 2025 dictionary will publish the entry:
Traffic light (n)
(1) dubbed as an unofficial celebrity
(2) a celebrity because everybody knows where each traffic light is
(3) unofficial because nobody really looks at them anymore, do they?
It’s 1:00 a.m. and I see him again.
Yes, the man in the cute neon uniform. He’s always on the night shift, but I see him here every morning too. He drives his kids to school, you see. It’s funny how he’s supposed to protect my interests but he’s not my biggest fan either.
It’s 7:00 a.m. and people are honking everywhere.
Seven to eight in the morning is usually my personal peak hour. And by peak hour, I mean the 60 minutes where I fail at my job the most! Everybody is in a hurry so everybody only follows me when my light indicates green.
It’s 7:38 a.m. and someone died for the second time this week.
I wonder who’s to blame – the girl who crossed the street when the pedestrian traffic light was clearly red, or the driver who sped up when I shifted to the orange light. Either way, it’s not me.
It’s 8:00 a.m. and I’m still here.
Pedestrians and motorists alike only follow me when it’s convenient for them, and whenever there’s an accident like the one that just happened, I thank whatever god lords over death. People who die for not recognizing my awesomeness deserve what they get. It’s called good riddance.
Oh, and death? While you’re at it, can you also take that driver from the ICU please? Thank you!
It’s 12:00 noon and it’s still the same old day.
I still have the best job ever. I still stand here every single day, under the direct heat of the sun, telling people what to do and what not to do. Yes, I still give out commands without fail. And yes, people still ignore me without fail.
I won’t be surprised if another life is wasted tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. I’ve long since stopped caring whether the people who ignore me survive another day or not. Because, hey, if they think a 60-second wait isn’t worth the years of life they’d lose in their neglect of me, that’s no longer my problem.