In the city where I live, everyone runs red lights, and I don't like that a bit.

The left turn lane across from you will have the green arrow, and they'll all be turning left, like you'd expect. Then the left turn light turns yellow, and they all drive faster, trying to beat the red. But when it turns red, they just keep on turning. I've sat at lights before where the left turn light will turn red, and the next five cars will just run it. "Oh, it's not fair, I had to sit at the light all that time, I can't stand to sit another two minutes in the turn lane at rush hour, besides I'm entitled to turn now, those other cars won't hit me, and I'm entitled, dammit, I'm entitled."

They run regular red lights, too -- some arrogant fuck almost hit me almost two seconds after my light turned green, then had the gall to flip me off like I'd done something wrong, getting in his almighty fucking way.

This kind of shit pisses me off. A lot. It sums up for me a lot of what I think is wrong with the world: arrogance. Everyone thinks the world owes them a fortune, everyone thinks they should be allowed to show contempt for everyone around them, everyone thinks they're special, so they can do whatever the fuck they want to.

It's not like I'm some law-and-order fanatic; I got no problems with people clipping the end of the yellow light -- sometimes it's just impossible to stop when you're too close to the intersection when the light turns yellow. And it doesn't bother me when somebody zips through at the very beginning of the red light, because they don't really delay anyone.

What bugs the hell out of me is the third, fourth, and fifth drivers who don't care that they're driving dangerously -- all they care about is getting theirs, and fuck everyone else. After a long and irritating day at work, the last thing I need to deal with is more arrogant fucks endangering my life and my car and making me angrier and angrier and angrier.

So I did something about it.

A month ago, I was driving home from work, got stuck at a light, and watched four people drive through the red light after mine had turned green. So I made careful note of the fourth car: a dark green Ford pickup with a tattered American flag on the antenna. I made a right turn and followed it. When he got to his house, I memorized the driver's description (white male, college age, shaved head, shaggy goatee, Sigma Chi T-shirt) and wrote down his address.

I went back to his house that night. He didn't lock his back door. His roommate and his girlfriend were busy behind closed doors. They paid no attention to me and vice versa. The guy was passed out drunk in his bedroom. He didn't wake up at all, so I was able to beat his skull into a pulp with my tire iron without an ounce of disturbance.

I left a note written on a Post-It: "Ran red light, Tuesday afternoon, 34th and University." I left the house, got back in the car, and drove away, completely unobserved.

I went home, threw up twice, and went to sleep.

It didn't make it into the papers 'til late the next day, and the cops were able to keep the stuff about the Post-It note out of the news. But I saw a lot more police cars watching the corner of University and 34th for the next week. They didn't do anything, though -- people were still running lights all the time. They didn't even seem to care that the police were watching them.

And so, a little over a week later, I was driving to the grocery store and watched no fewer than five cars run the light right next to the store. I didn't need milk that badly, so I turned right and followed the fifth car, a white minivan. Watched 'em get home, wrote down the address. White female, a little heavy, glasses, short brown hair. Three kids in the car with her. This was going to be a lot harder. The rest of the family wasn't going to be a target, but security would surely be stiffer than at the house of some college-age stoners. So I planned a little more carefully. I even staked the house out a little.

And I was lucky -- she worked, but she always came home for lunch. The kids stayed at school, and the husband stayed at work, but she came home for lunch. So I broke out one of the back windows the next morning after they'd all left, waited 'til she got home. I surprised her when she was starting to microwave some Hot Pockets, hit her on the head with a crowbar to keep her from running, and told her exactly why she had to die right before I slashed her throat with one of the kitchen knives.

I think she was trying to apologize or pray at the end, but I ignored her. She had to be taught the price of arrogance. Besides, if I'd let her go, she would've been running more red lights the next day. That's the way these people are. Her family was better off without her, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe they have a chance to grow up decently now.

I washed up in the bathroom sink and left another note: "Ran red light, Wednesday afternoon, 50th and Flint."

This time the notes made the papers. And traffic started to slow down. I saw fewer cars running the lights. Some, sure, but never more than three. A big improvement. There were also more police watching more of the traffic lights. Of course, they're not really looking for people running the lights, but most people behave anyway. That just means that the people who are still running the lights are irritating me even more. These guys are the cream of the arrogance crop, here -- they're just assuming they're not going to get caught, neither by the cops or by me. Arrogant and stupid, what a fucking combo.

So obviously, I caught another one. I'm on my way to lunch, waiting to make a right turn at a light, and two cars go through the red. I ignore the first guy -- looked to me like he'd just barely missed the yellow light, and like I said, I'm just not obsessive enough to care about that. But the second guy comes through over a second after the light's turned green, leaning on his horn like, of course, he thinks he's got the right of way. I follow him, natch.

High school student, white, skinny, brown hair. Riding with two of his friends. Nice sporty red sedan -- you can tell his parents bought it for him. The kids laugh a lot, and they don't notice me. They've just eaten and are on their way back to school. I take note of where they park, then go eat my lunch and go back to work.

I took the rest of the day off at 2:30, went back to the school, and waited for the kid to go back to his car after classes. He comes out with his same pals, and they go get some sodas at the Arby's. After that, he takes them to their houses (and I wrote down their addresses, too -- more on that later), then he heads for his house, and I write down the address there, too.

Without a doubt, this was a much tougher kill. I showed up two nights later when it looked like everyone else had left the house. Turned out Dad was still home and heard me when I got the back door open. I was lucky -- he thought I was the wife, home early from church. I had to stab him before I could get to the kid, but he was surprised and didn't make any noise. Two quick stabs in the throat, and he was back to lying quietly on the couch. I didn't like killing him -- I really would have preferred to leave all innocent bystanders out of this entirely -- but there was no way to avoid it.

The kid was in his room listening to something on his headphones. He had no idea anything was wrong until I came into the room, and then it was all over but the screaming and the stabbing. I took a few polaroids this time, then left the note: "Ran red light, Monday afternoon, Fourth and Ave. Q."

On the way home, I mailed off a couple of envelopes for the kid's two friends in a corner dropbox. They included the polaroids and short notes saying, "This is what happens when people run lights." It was good for a chuckle on the way home, and I didn't even have trouble sleeping that night. Those guys wouldn't ever run a light again, so good on me.

And that leads me to this week. Caught some lowrider guy running a light just a couple of nights ago. He was driving pretty fast, so I had to chase him all the way to one of the clubs downtown. We both had to park a few blocks from the club, and we were both cutting through empty parking lots and alleys, so by the time I caught up with him, he knew I was following him. Didn't do him any good; he pulled a knife, but I'd started carrying a .45. About the time I dropped the note ("Ran red light, Saturday night, 82nd and Indiana"), I suddenly realized that I'd really, really fucked up.

So here I am back at my apartment. I'm almost finished typing this up. When that's done, I'll hit "Print" and "Sumbit", then I'll put the gun in my mouth and pull the trigger. I already have the note pinned to my shirt: "Ran red light, Saturday night, 19th and Indiana".

I still can't believe I turned out to be such an arrogant little shit.