I ran a stoplight this morning. That means I drove through when the light was on red. Just in case there was any doubt. It was a deliberate, premeditated act. I was not apprehended. I was not even chased. Though I cannot say I was without witnesses. And accomplices.
My life of crime began around 6:50 a.m. The Pony and I had just entered the Backroads city limits. I reined in T-Hoe to a respectable 30 mph. Just like the sign commanded. Also, that section passes by the mini-mall that used to house the police department. Two school buses pulled out from a side street and beat me to the traffic light. There were a couple of other vehicles already waiting. As I neared the intersection, the last bus went through. But I had a red light. So I stopped. I was not yet a criminal.
The line to my left got its turn. They had just come off the highway exit. I imagine some were heading to the drive-thru liquor store that seems to do a good business every morning. There was no line to my right, because that's the on ramp that heads up to the highway. The oncoming cars got their turn next. A few made lefts with their arrow, crossing in front of me to reach their highway access. Others came straight through. Then their light turned red. I know that, because they all stopped. It was now my line's turn. OR WAS IT?
The line to my left got the green arrow again! I could see it, and they again proceeded from their highway exit ramp toward the drive-thru liquor store area. WHEN WAS MY TURN? I had waited at least two whole minutes. And that's not even a two-minute light. More like 30 seconds. Again, the oncoming line had their turn. Stopped. Nobody was moving. There were no cars in the oncoming left turn lane.
I DROVE THROUGH THE RED LIGHT!
Fair is fair. My line was skipped on two turns. Traffic was piling up behind me. It happened a few weeks ago coming from the other direction, with a left-turn arrow. Cars honked, and veered into a parking lot to cut through the light. I was in no mood for that this morning. I took my chances. Funny how the line of traffic behind me followed like I was some Pied Piper of Poor Driving Skills. The next two lights worked. Meaning that they were green, and I drove right through them. The better to make my getaway. It also helped that another school bus was directly behind me, defending my rear flank. I almost had me a convoy, rollin' through the morning, though short of 11 long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus.
After weaving up the side street by the funeral home, and down in front of the dead-mouse-smelling post office, and up the wide rich-house street to go past the lake...I was pretty much in the clear. I narrowly avoided a long rock-hauler and a reckless dump truck rounding a bridge curve near the shooting range at 50 mph instead of the intermittently-enforced 20 mph. That extra time at the red light might have been a deciding factor to avoiding smashage. Anyhoo...as I came out to the main road by the bank that shorts my mom $10 and won't cash her dividend check, I saw by their clock that I was exactly two minutes behind schedule.
Good thing I broke the law. Today was my duty day. It doesn't pay to be late on duty day. A call goes over the intercom, in the principal's voice: "I AM ON DUTY IN THE (parking lot/cafeteria/gym/hall) BECAUSE THE TEACHER WHO IS SCHEDULED IS NOT." Which is a signal for all the teachers to grab their handbooks and look up whose turn it is. For future blackmail material.
I might still be sitting at that red light now if I had not taken traffic into my own hands and foot.