#919 Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row

I used to drive home from my friend Mike’s basement apartment on this lonely, two-lane road. It was always late at night and I’d roll down the windows so that the cold, country-time air could help keep me awake. The air smelled like a cologne Beetlejuice might wear — a tangy combination of fresh manure, foggy dew, and squashed skunk.

Yes, I’d say it was a nice, quiet way to end an evening, a relaxing and peaceful drive home on those late nights.

But then they came.

The big-box stores gobbled up that cheap farmer land and dropped in a concrete paradise full of parking lots, neon signs, and a neverending series of traffic lights that completely clogged up the roads. The cold, farm air was replaced by a new smell — a thick, heady mix of car exhaust and Taco Bell fumes.

And, you know, I understand.

Every massive parking lot really does need its own traffic light. I mean, without them, you’d be stuck trying to make a left turn out of Home Depot for half an hour. You buy those two by fours, you want to go build that deck, am I right? No really, I get it. I’ve been there too, and I get the lights.

But let’s be honest: the resulting gauntlet is no good, either.

On that old drive home from Mike’s basement apartment they built up more than ten traffic lights in a row, each only about a couple hundred feet apart. There was traffic light after traffic light after traffic light, a sort of slow, hellish march through the jungle of progress.

And the lights never lined up either. You’d hit two greens, then two reds. You’d race through a couple of last-second yellows and then get your comeuppance with five reds in a row. Yes, it was a frustratingly, fuel-wastingly, stop-and-go-to-slow ordeal.

Now, one night I was driving home from Mike’s place a little later than usual. We started a movie when we should’ve called it a night, and I was trucking home at three in the morning on a Tuesday. I approached The Gauntlet groggily and hit the first few green lights in a row, no problem. Nothing special, I figured, probably just a tease. After all, The Gauntlet had never lost.

But then, before I knew it, I had made a couple more.

Then a couple more.

Then a couple more.

Suddenly I was two lights away from the finish line and I couldn’t believe my luck. Looking ahead I could see that both lights were green, tempting me, showing me what might be possible.

So I gunned it.

I blew through the second-last green and saw that last one turn to yellow. There was no way I was going to get that close without making it through, so I just jammed the gas and just barely squeezed by as the light turned red.

Yes, it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I was buzzing huge that night and smiling ear to ear. And really, just tell me the truth — if you’ve ever blown through a string of green lights in a row, how does it make you feel?

I’ve got just one guess.


Photo from: here

40 thoughts on “#919 Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row

  1. You left out the best part. About 2 weeks ago, I was out procuring sustenance and I ran a red light (Southbound on Jefferson Avenue at Arthur Drive in Cookeville, TN, if you must know). Not intentionally, but it definitely turned red before I got through it. On went the blue lights, coming out of Arthur. I calmly switched lanes, and turned into the Big Lots! parking lot. I sat there and watched my rearview mirror as the cop breezed by. Now that, my friend, is AWESOME!

    1. I just barely ran a red light ( at the Broad St and Northfield in Murfreesboro, TN, if you must know:)). Mine was also not intentional, and I thought I could make the yellow. I didn’t. I had my picture taken and had my ticket mailed to me. Not Awesome. What was awesome was that it didn’t go on my driving record.

    2. I did something just like that! I was the only person on the road (another awesome thing I might mention…) and so I was just chillin, singin, goin 15 over, and BOOM there’s a cop car on my bumper. I change lanes, slow WAY down, and he shoots by.


  2. I just got done driving home…and I didn’t have a good experience with the stoplight-gauntlet. This post reassured me that there is still hope left!

  3. I was about to make the comment that thelogicalsmoker just posted. Basically, I feel like the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission should send the link for this post to all of their drivers, as you’ll never find a group of guys more in aGREENment with you.. *groan*..

    I remember many a night in Manhattan, going out with from friends in the LES, and then having to grab a taxi up to my place in the UES. When it’s late at night like that, the cab drivers will stop at nothing to achieve that beautiful moment when you can fly through about 20 blocks at breakneck speed, not having to stop for a single red, while I’m sitting in the back seat watching the numbers on the cab’s meter spin like a slot machine. (I once glanced at the cab driver’s speedometer on one of these perfect moments, and he was going 80 mph.. on First Avenue!) He couldn’t have done THAT without a string of greens, I’ll tell you that much..

  4. You know what? I love that feeling too. When driving in downtown Tampa to my old work place, hitting every single green light just makes you feel fuckin awesome. This site is good.

  5. There’s actually a term to describe this. It’s called the green wave. Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, actually has a sign advertising this, telling drivers to enjoy the green wave. It took me forever to figure out what the gosh darn sign was talking about.

  6. Ha. Dave’s comment is awesome!

    This happened to me last night, I got home about 5 minutes earlier than usual! It was awesome! :)

  7. Ooh oops i just wrote a long comment and when i submitted it it came up blank! Please tell me it worked right? I dont want to write it again if i dont have to! Either the blog glitced out or i am just stuipd, the latter doesnt surprise me lol.

  8. I’m very lucky when it comes to this. Especially when I’m rushing, for things like hockey games or school.
    I like green lights.

  9. What’s also awesome is that I’ve only just heard of this website and stumbling across the red-light story. I find that 9 of the above posts are dated Oct 13th, which happens to be my birthday. Coincidence or what! :) My contribution is that for the many times that we’ve made the 20 minute journey from the 401 to my house in London, over a period of thirty years, only once have we hit all green lights. It was many years ago late at night, the children were asleep in the back seat and we couldn’t believe our luck. Of course, we looked out for it to happen again every time we made the journey after that, but it never did.

  10. What’s AWESOME is you’re gonna be late for work but you hit all green lights and get there on time ;)

    1. YES (for me its school. But this year my homeroom teacher is heaps cool, so it doesnt really matter if im a couple minutes late). altho of course with my luck we miss each of the three green lights by a few seconds. then we say whoever is in the front passenger seat is cursed, and then next time (out of me or my brother, whoever isnt ‘cursed’) the other person should sit in the front.

  11. OMG!!!! i luv when this happens if u hit the first light just right u hit everyone one after that green then u never have to stop either its just soooo cool

  12. Wotcher!

    Funny story, this happened to me once.

    I went to the advanced screening of The Last Mimzy . As you’re walking into the theater, they give out these little “mimzy” key-chains.

    After the movie, there was a lot of traffic. I childishly asked the “mimzy” to make those lights turn green.
    And they did.
    About 48 lights later, no red lights.
    At the last light, it looked like it was going to be red. As soon as we drove up, the light turned green.



  13. This is seriously awesome! Tonight I was driving home (into the city) from my friend’s house (in the sticks) and only hit one red light: the very last one before my house! That’s impressive, too, considering there were at least two dozen in between.

    Even more awesome? Only one cop and even though I blew by it at 12 or so over, he didn’t blink an eye!


  14. True story: Culture shock when I moved from Vancouver to a town with not one set of lights!
    This same township put a traffic circle in about 3 years ago; still no lights to date.
    Not a problem in winter population 3,000, but summer, 20,000, crazy!!!

  15. One time one of my top eyelashes stuck under my bottom eyelid. It was still attached to my top eyelid and I couldn’t detach it, so I had to pinch my bottom eyelid with my fingers and untuck the eyelash with tweezers. Tip: Metal tweezers REALLY hurt when they touch your eye.

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