McGee: Much better to be right than happy

A left turn on a red light is when you turn left from a one-way street on to another one-way street flowing in the direction of your turn. Recently, in another state, I did one.

“What are you doing?” yelled The Lady of the House. “You just ran a red light.”

“No,” I said in my “I’m-quite-sure-of-myself” voice. “I made a left on red.”

“I suppose you’re going to tell me they taught you that in driver’s ed in Virginia,” she said.

“They obviously didn’t in driver’s ed in Florida,” I said.

“You can’t turn left on red,” stated The Lady of the House.

“You can,” I said.



When we stopped for the night I looked it up on the Internet.

“Wikipedia says 37 states allow left on red,” I proudly proclaimed.

“Wikipedia?” She looked at me over the top of her glasses. “Is Texas one of them? New Mexico?”

“It doesn’t list them.”

The next day in a Natchez, Miss., store The Lady of the House perused the aisles and I struck up a conversation with the clerk.

“I’ve never heard of making a left turn on a red light,” he said.

The Lady of the House came around the corner smiling.

“See?” she said.

I felt like I was in some kind of “Twilight Zone.” I knew I’d learned that left on red was OK.

In Florida we spent time with The Lady of the House’s brother. I knew from previous experience I could depend on this man to be the voice of reason and moderation in disagreements with his sister.

“Never heard of left on red,” he said.

I heard laughter from another section of the house.

“Well, you know what Dr. Phil says, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?’” said The Lady of the house as she walked down the hall.

I wanted to be right.