Posts Tagged ‘42’

Throughout history there have been many great numbers noted that are universally understood. Just a few examples:

18           Holes on a normal golf course

9              Innings in a baseball game

88           Keys on a piano

42           Meaning of Life (see ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’)

I have another one that I need to add to the list:

31

On the mornings when I go into work, I have the occasion to take a major road (Route 50) for 16.6 miles of the way. Could I take Interstate 66 at the same time and possibly cut some time off the commute? If you’ve ever lived in Northern Virginia you’ll scoff at the very thought of that disaster, as basically any dirt road over the Alps in December will get you to your destination faster than I-66 during rush hour.

So 16.6 miles where the road actually morphs from one lane each way to two a few miles down the road, to a whopping three a few miles further. However, this expansion is not the point of this blog. The point of my rambling is to report to you that on the Good Lord’s Day of the 16th of April, 2 Thousand and Nineteen, this person typing completed this 16.6 mile journey without stopping at a single traffic light.

Now I’m sure that some of you living in the Outer Mongolia portion of this fine country are thinking “so what – I would hit those six lights correctly every other time.” What I’m sure that you same Outer Mongolians do not realize is that there are 31 traffic lights in this stretch. According to my basic learning of arithmetic in Miss Wall’s 1st Grade class at Mabel K. Holland Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana – that is one traffic light every 38 feet, give or take 2 feet.

Don’t get me wrong – way back in 2015 in the good old days, when bread was 47 cents and there were only approximately in the nether region of 20 traffic lights on this stretch, I had run this gauntlet successfully without nary a red light a couple of times as well. However, since we’ve added 11 lights in the last 5 years I have never had the same exhilarating experience.

To give you complete statistics of the journey (which I know you’re anxious for):

31      Traffic lights gone through without stopping

3        Traffic lights that I had to slow SLIGHTLY for to avoid slamming into the car in front of me

2        Yellow traffic lights

1        Firehouse traffic lights that only turn red in emergency

So as you can see this was clearly a momentous occasion that deserves the bandwidth that I’ve assigned to it. Thirty-one traffic lights did a valiant battle with me and my truck – and not one of them survived the onslaught. I slayed them like Saint George slayed the dragon.

Now, to be fair, I took the opposite way home yesterday afternoon to actually count how many traffic lights were on my path – and they basically took me out behind the barn and whipped my butt good. Of the 31 traffic lights on my way back home, I stopped at exactly 83 of them. For a LONG time.

Welcome to the Northern Virginia ThunderDome.