Your Undercarriage Will Sparkle
By Liz Cowen Furman –
After the tragic events of 9-11, I felt compelled to show my patriotism in some way. It seemed most everybody in the area had the same thought. By the time I got to the store, there wasn’t a single flag remaining. So for the first time in my life, I ventured bravely into cyberspace to search for and buy a magnetic flag to display on our van. I accomplished this feat in record time and when the much-sought-after purchase arrived, I was thrilled. Emblazoned across the magnetic sign was the American flag and underneath were the words “God Bless America.” Perfect.
The first few times I drove around town with the sign on the car, I would look in my rearview mirror to see if the driver behind me noticed my cool magnet. I felt I was making a statement “I believe in this country and the freedom for which it stands!” However, the very first time I took the van through the “touch-free” carwash, I forgot to take my new flag off and it was washed away. UGH!
When I realized my show of patriotism had slipped off, I knew it had to be on the floor of the car wash. So the next morning, Micah, Matthew and I stopped by the car wash after we dropped Martin at choir just as it was starting to snow. As we pulled up a gentleman was about to enter and the door to the bay was slowly lifting.
Seizing the moment, I jumped from the van and dashed toward his window. I politely asked if I could sprint in ahead of him and retrieve my little flag. He waved me on enthusiastically. I waited for the door to open and entered the bay. As I entered, the little electric eye must have caught sight of me. In an instant the undercarriage wash came on with such startling force that I was airborne before I knew what had hit me. A flying leap took me through the spray and when I landed the pre-rinse immediately opened up, drenching me from head to toe. Without looking at the man in his car behind me, I escaped as fast as I could with no flag to show for my troubles.
The howls of laughter rocking my van told me that Matthew and Micah had witnessed the entire show. As I crawled behind the wheel of the van, icicles forming on my brow, I couldn’t help but share in the laughter. Despite my frozen exterior, joining in the hilarity with my boys warmed my heart. I’m not sure, however if the man who treated me to his car wash ever recovered.
The next Sunday morning as we passed by the car wash on our way to church, my husband, Dave slowed the car and said, “Hey Liz, if you need a shower we will wait.” And we laughed all over again. Times like this remind me that God has a great sense of humor, and we do well not to take ourselves too seriously.