EDitorial ± 23-Feb-2004

Amber Gambler

These past ten days I are been mostly staring at traffic lights. Not real traffic lights, unless legally obliged to do so while pootling around in the Broomobile. Nope, I'm talking about 40x40 pixel GIFs on my monitor at work. It's the future, I tell you, and it's here now.
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
Although my name's not Bamber
— Monty Python, I Like Traffic Lights (1980)

So why is amber called amber, and not yellow? How about saffron? Perhaps that green is better named as chartreuse? And maybe that red should be cerise? Remember, your driving instructor might say, the correct order is:

  1. cerise
  2. cerise and saffron,
  3. chartreuse, but only proceed if it is safe to do so

My priddy lights at work are designed to tell me at a glance — 'cos I move with the times and expect high performance — how things are with various systems. In reverse order, they look a bit like this:

Blooming, bosky, budding, burgeoning, callow, etc
  • feet up
  • everything tickety-boo, shipshape and West Country fashion
  • lean, mean, clean and on the screen
  • like Mr Gecko said, green is good
Chicken, craven, deceitful, gutless, lily-livered, etc
  • legs are still wriggling
  • easily enough time for another coffee before investigating
  • a possible problem, but one that, if ignored, might just fix itself
  • ooh, is it lunchtime?
Crimson, dye, encarmine, flush, glow, etc
  • oh dear, oh dear, oh dear
  • seek help
  • run screaming from the building
  • to make a lame VDU/CRT-type joke, this is rather terminal

Put these on a grid and you've nearly got Connect 4 before you.

At lunchtime, fuelled by a regular 12oz latte and KitKat Chunky, I was attempting to subdivide my life into headings such as health, family, employment, et cetera, then assign a RAG-like status to each one. Now that the caffeine and seratonin levels have subsided slightly, I realise that you'd have been mighty bored seeing a succession of green lights. A mild bout of eczema doesn't really merit a saffron, does it?

Be seeing you!