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I used to see television commercials for cars where they would emphasize how fast the car could accelerate from a dead stop. All these assorted cars could go from zero to sixty in eight seconds or four seconds or in some other unbelievable span of time. I never understood why that was a feature of such importance.

I’ve finally figured it out on my twice-daily journey up and down Wilshire Boulevard. Once the traffic light turns green (and sometimes even before the light changes), the first person in line must immediately mash his or her accelerator and speed like a maniac to the next red light 300 feet away. Brakes are usually applied within 25 feet of the crosswalk, in order to assure a loud screeching halt. A minute or so later, the light will change to green and the entire process will repeat itself for the entire sixteen mile length of the thoroughfare.

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