Day 1: Announce our town’s straightforward plan to install a single traffic light to make a downtown intersection safer. We don’t expect any pushback to this minor mundane project.
Day 1 (fifteen minutes later): Reassure the hundreds of calls, emails, and angry comments on unrelated town Facebook posts that this traffic light doesn’t mean we’re banning cars, expanding the surveillance state, or responsible for their daughter Katherine not visiting.
Day 5: Community town hall, where the angriest, loudest citizens with spare time on a Tuesday afternoon can air their grievances with the project or with life itself.
Day 10: Environmental impact study about the effects of one traffic light on the white-boobed bobby finch, and a second study to see whether there even is something called a white-boobed bobby finch. This will last nine months and cost $12 million.
Day 280: A second town hall for regular, working folks who couldn’t make the first Town Hall on a Tuesday afternoon. This one will be held on a Wednesday afternoon.
Day 315: Lawsuit filed against the town alleging it’s in bed with “Big Traffic Light.”
Day 429: First day of construction begins… some other day, because there is a protest at the proposed site of the traffic light. Several protest signs include the word “genocide.”
Day 450: Town officials say the project name backwards three times to see if it summons a centuries-old demonic spirit lurking between Fifth Street and Main. It’s worth a shot.
Day 483: Third town hall, where we convince the angriest members from the first town hall that members from the second town hall are going to apologize, and vice versa, leading to hilarious sitcom hijinks to distract from the absolute lack of movement on our project.
Day 637: Press conference where we apologize for the project taking so long and squeeze the life out of rubber stress balls behind the podium.
Day 700: Stage an elaborate new vote on the traffic light project, then surprise the voters that it’s Opposite Day! This is apparently illegal and the project still does not move forward.
Day 715: Get a couple of councilmembers, a handful of shovels, and just start digging. This is also apparently illegal.
Day 730: Celebrate two years of no movement by watching a parade of cars dangerously speed through the intersection. No need to bring flowers; there are plenty at the makeshift memorial on the corner.
Day 815: Community BBQ. Doesn’t have anything to do with the project but we need this for morale.
Day 816: Propose a compromise: instead of a traffic light, we install two speed bumps on the side streets near the intersection. In response, people throw chicken bones at the mayor.
Day 972: Hold a final town hall begging people to tell us what type of project they’re comfortable with. All of the suggestions have to do with making the font on their cell phones larger.
Day 1,240: A new mayor is elected. The previous project was canceled in favor of a brand new proposal: a bike lane. Reports say the town is already on fire.