Do those

Press to Walk

buttons at intersections really speed up the process of the
stoplight turning green?
Do those “Press to Walk” buttons at intersections really speed up the process of the stoplight turning green? I’ve always wondered because it surely doesn’t seem so.

It’s nice of the stoplight planner to include that nifty feature. But come on, buddy, you’re not fooling anyone.

Yet at every intersection with this option, we all push that silly button. Might as well, right? Maybe we’ll save a few extra seconds.

I would argue, though, that pushing the button only makes a person’s situation worse and their impatience greater. Cars continue to zoom by. Time slows. And I always end up feeling like a nicotine addict standing through a long Easter Mass with a stuttering priest.

Everyone gets frustrated in these situations, but I recently saw two Hollister teens take their irritation too far.

Before I go any further, be aware: I am not embittered. This rant is all in good fun. The subject’s not nearly as serious as, say, graffiti.

Two consecutive days while stopped at intersections, I witnessed girls jabbing at the button repeatedly for about a minute each time. From my idle car I wanted to yell: “Pushing it once will do, you moron!” But I held back for the sake of grace.

I remember one girl in particular. She stood at the corner, otherwise motionless, staring into traffic as if a programmed chip in her brain had forced her robotic pokes. I felt terrible for that stoplight and became irritated sitting there.

Back home in Wisconsin, Dad always said everything wears out if you don’t care respectfully for it. For instance, he said, “Never play with light switches” and “Always take shoes off while lying on the couch.”

I disrespected his orders at 5 but eventually learned the hard way – Dad was right – when the legs of all my G.I. Joes started falling out. Apparently some people still haven’t learned, though.

Not only is this simple science, it’s a matter of respect for common property. Anyone who lives in Hollister should take it personally, this act of tactlessness.

That girl must have felt so proud when the light turned green: “Ahha, I did it! I can walk to the other side!” she probably thought. “I’m better than all those cars. Ha ha ha!”

Maybe I’m being too generous. Her thoughts probably resembled something more like… “Yippee” or “Okie-dokie.”

Or do people finger-hump the pole for boredom’s sake? Because I have an idea for the situation that’s both more exhilarating and brings less negative attention – nose picking. Seriously, if someone’s attention span lacks that much, I’ve got two more words to cure the ailment: Super Ball.

I always keep one in my left pocket.

This advice also holds relevance for elevators. If I’m on another elevator where someone pushes the “close door” button 50 times, I may just scream like an ambulance siren until he or she stops so that person can feel my level of aggravation.

One push is equally as efficient as 50. And the possibility for malfunction lowers by about 5,000 percent with the former.

Next time you’re standing at a crosswalk and losing patience, think twice before going bonkers on the pole. Maybe the stoplight planner isn’t trying to fool anyone. Maybe Dad was right, and those signals are just broken.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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