Rants in the Pants, Episode 21-Useless Inventions #3

I’ve been asking folks to mention what they consider useless inventions in the comments. People have been slow to post what’s on their minds but I finally got a fan to speak. Annie says she thinks yellow lights are useless and I can’t help but agree. Thank you for your brilliant suggestion. I can only say I’m jealous I didn’t think of it.

First of all, yellow is a color I don’t like much. I had a yellow car once. The color should have warned me not to buy it, but I needed a car and this one would fill my needs at what I thought at the time was a reasonable price. Little did I know that lemons advertised themselves by using the color yellow and that I would spend more to keep this monster running than I paid for it initially. That was a lesson learned.

But that’s off the point. Yellow lights are useless since no one uses them for their original purpose which is to alert drivers to the fact that they should slow and stop as the light will soon be red. This is supposed to cut down on the number of accidents happening at intersections. My experience tells me this is not the case.

I started the process of making a left turn at an intersection a few years ago. My turn signal was on and the arrow light was green permitting me to make my turn. An approaching driver saw the light change to yellow and knowing that it would be red before they could get to the crosswalk, the driver hit the gas without looking to see if anyone was making a turn. When the light turned red, they kept on going. Their luxury car must have been speeding at 45-50 miles an hour when it smashed into my little hatchback ripping off the front end and sending me and the rest of my car spinning into a tree. It was a life-changing experience. After that accident, I never make a left turn on a green arrow unless I am certain that all the traffic coming toward me has stopped. Honking horns do not deter me from this. The green color of the arrow, I have learned, is not a sign saying it’s safe to go. Since my accident, I ‘ve borne witness to several accidents and near accidents that happened the same way as mine. It has made my beliefs more solid than ever: ignore the honks and keep your eyes peeled for the bonks.

If we all agreed that the yellow light means caution, maybe slow down and get ready to stop, the yellow light wouldn’t be so useless. Unfortunately, for too many people, it means speed up so I can make the light and not be 40 seconds late for my appointment. In this context, I must say the yellow light is actually a danger to road safety and must be discontinued in favor of just the red and green lights.

Thank you all for reading my work and especially thank you, Annie, for your excellent suggestion for Useless Inventions. I can only say I’m green with envy I didn’t think of it first. Anyone else out there have a suggestion for an invention that should be uninvented?


  1. Annie Swensen on March 22, 2024 at 8:48 am

    Nicely done, Ira!

    • Ira White on March 22, 2024 at 10:07 am

      Thank you Annie!

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