By Patty Clark
Silly me for thinking bad things can’t happen on Sundays. God is expected to be on my side on the Sabbath but somehow takes a break and Satan steps in. Not to disregard our heavenly maker’s miraculous powers of persuasion, but if I had been in church where I was supposed to be, I doubt any of this would have happened. Let me start from the beginning.
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Silly me for thinking bad things can’t happen on Sundays.
God is expected to be on my side on the Sabbath but somehow takes a break and Satan steps in. Not to disregard our heavenly maker’s miraculous powers of persuasion, but if I had been in church where I was supposed to be, I doubt any of this would have happened. Let me start from the beginning.
Powers of Persuasion
Taking Out the Trash
Most people don’t remember what they did at four years old. I do. How could I not when my mother repeated this story over and over, making me look like the worst wrongdoer in rug rat history.
We were reversing out of the driveway one Sunday and heading towards our parish when she stopped to move all things toy related. I was just trying to help with the commute by hopping into the driver’s seat. That’s when I learned that gear shifting can wipe out a wagon, take out trash cans, and destroy relations with the neighbors if you back onto their property.
Late For School
Some rather harsh words came from a woman of such saintly stature.
It didn’t help that it was a simmering summer morning and I had left a whole box of 120 color Crayola’s melting on the blacktop. Not to mention accelerating backwards with her standing so close to the car. When she regained control of the vehicle, I asked in some sort of preschooler babble that she not get so worked up about rainbow colored tires and crushed trash cans plus three feet of churned up soil that stuck to the Robertson’s busted picket fence. She’s lucky I didn’t shift to “D” and take out the garage.
The incident resulted in my being late for a religious education where they would have been teaching me what’s wrong and what’s right.
Flash forward to my teen years. Dad had just purchased a brand new beautiful Buick. I asked if I could use it to pick up my girlfriend and go to a church service.
God should have struck me down for fibbing. Instead of sitting in a pew, we found it funnier to do drive by baptisms that rainy day, flying through puddles when people were standing on curbs. If at first you don’t succeed, try three more times so your thrills are sufficiently achieved. Mom called me poor pitiful pearl, which probably meant that I was one bead shy of a full necklace. The only jewelry she wanted to see me wearing was a rosary.
Watch for Pedestrians
Before I left the house, dad had such strictness in his voice when he warned me, “Drive slow and see the countryside, but drive fast and you’ll see the bars of a jail.”
Having once been in the seminary studying for priesthood, I’m surprised he didn’t preach, “Thou shalt not speed or plow down pedestrians.” He did tell me never to pick up hitchhikers. But some of them just took it upon themselves to hop aboard without asking. It happens when you’re trying to drive and you have to remove birdies flattened pancaked parts from the windshield.
Saying signs of the cross was common when I wasn’t in church. Especially when yelling, “Holy crap, there’s a cop!” What dad forgot to tell me was how to apply make-up while eating a Big Mac going eighty miles per hour.
Driving can become erratic simply by trying to learn the entire instrument panel. I should have figured out where the windshield wiper button was BEFORE I got into the vehicle. Driving home, a drunkard plowed into the passenger side while I was making a turn. Any further forward and my friend would have been killed and I would have been left telling everyone the deceased friend story. Apparently I hadn’t sprayed our automobile with jerk repellant.
The Root of all Evil
At that point, I was pretty positive that I would have been better off in a sanctuary as a sermon recipient. I just prayed that I wouldn’t go to hell because Hitler would be there.
I returned home with a muddy and messed up auto that looked like it had been to a demolition derby. How do you know when it’s a good time to give up driving? When your dad has a killer look on his face. I’m sure he was sorry he had me instead of continuing on in the seminary. But he did lovingly inquire, “Are you hurt?” He thinks I was trouble. I, on the other hand, believe that package tape dispensers are the far more troublesome vagabonds and root of all evil.
Flash forward again to a week ago. I had just exited Target strolling to my car when I watched a shopping cart ram into my taillight, breaking it. And they call it daylight saving time.
I thought maybe God was getting revenge since I spent time in a retail establishment instead of a house of the Lord. But honestly, I think Target is equally shrine-like and a completely consecrated place of worship. A mother had let her young son take their buggy back to the cart corral where he missed, letting it slip from of his grip and roll right into my car. Not another of the quadrillion standing vehicles, just mine. I believed the kid did it on purpose. They say blondes have more fun. Not if you’re five with angelic brown locks but a devilish attitude. When he said his name was Lucifer, I thought I had died and gone to driver’s hell.
To top things off, a lady that looked to be about a hundred and fifty decided to park by squeezing her car into the space beside mine, scraping my side panel and leaving enough room to open the door for only a snake to slither into.
I suppose I had my own shortcomings as a human being. But it did call for a hearty shot of wine. I contemplated whether to go to a Catholic Mass and have one, or go to a cocktail lounge and have three.