Tuesday, August 30, 2005

#192 - Worthy of Death

I consider myself to be a quiet supporter of the death penalty. I prefer to remain quiet primarily because it's one of those arguments that cannot be won; those who support it will probably never be convinced not to, and vice versa.

I also refuse to be drawn into a discussion of racial inequities in the dispensing of death sentences. I've heard plenty of empirical evidence on both sides. No winners in that discussion, either.

I personally have always felt that the death penalty should be meted out only in the most brutal and extreme of cases, which in California is still a pretty high number. I may joke about politicians having standing appointments with the executioner out of wishful thinking, but I actually think it would be more cruel to revoke their pensions instead.

However, I have finally found a sector of the population that I believe I can hold prejudice against without guilt or remorse: the idiots that are responsible for the timing of traffic lights.

Specifically, the traffic lights found in Orange County. More specifically, the traffic lights found in the city of Anaheim. If you really pinned me down, it would be the idiots who program the traffic lights at the intersection of Imperial Highway and La Palma Avenue in the city of Anaheim.

When I first moved to this town, I found it incredible that anyone - no matter how much special interest money they received to get them elected - could possibly approve the installation of a traffic light within 30 yards of such a major intersection, but that's what they did. Then, just to add insult to injury, they apparently hired traffic analysts who interned at Microsoft (motto: "If There's a Way to Take Your Money, We'll Find It!"). I am convinced these are the same geniuses responsible for error messages like "Error 32002: There is no message for this error." When taken in that context, it makes perfect sense that these same mental midgets are now responsible for timing our traffic lights. In Anaheim. At Imperial and La Palma. (Note: I am not trying to be disrespectful of the vertically challenged. I am merely pointing out that these traffic engineers make up a complete six-pack, but lack the plastic thingy that holds them together.)

I favor the death penalty for this entire sub-human race without any need for trial. In fact, I believe that the minute they sign an employment application for any job dealing with traffic engineering, they should be taken to their physical exam on the 27th floor of a civic building (if we don't have one with 27 floors, we should build one for this express purpose) and pushed out of a specially designed breakaway window. It would save us all a lot of grief.

I used to believe that justice would be served by having them simply be subjected to their own idiocy. Make them sit through three lights before having a chance to get through the intersection every afternoon and see how they like it! Let them have 12 SUVs in a row nearly rearrange their car's entire front end so they (the SUVs) can "edge" their way into the intersection before it turns red and park so that no one can get through for yet another light. Better yet, have them move into a left-turn lane that used to be directly opposite another left turn lane, but now has been off-set so that neither car can see around the guy in the opposing lane, thus paralyzing both left-turn lanes for up to three hours! Now that truly reeks of genius, that does!

But the older I get (I age approximately 1 year for every 1 hour I spend waiting for traffic lights nowadays), the more I realize that I would never be satisfied having them suffer through their own stupidity. No, the only logical solution to this problem is death. Immediate death. I favor reinstating the electric chair specifically for the Imperial and La Palma team.

Alas, the ACLU and assorted liberals would never back me up. Ditto the SUV owners, who have not paid attention to a traffic light since Ford came out with Expeditions capable of carrying their own area codes. I'm guessing they use those cell phones to communicate with their kids in the back seat. Nor will I get any sympathy from the powerful Traffic Light Manufacturers Association lobby in Washington. They apparently have dirt on every single Orange County representative in Congress, or this problem would have been addressed years ago.

No, I'm afraid it's up to me to act. I need to go camp out in front of President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas to make statements that the press will publish. I need to get French journalists to accuse our traffic engineers of abusing steroids. I need to get Governor Schwarzzenwhozits to get my proposal in front of the voters in another special election.

But most of all, I need to start saving my pennies to buy a new civic building.

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