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Hey, LORD? Can You inspect my CAR?
by Julie Michaelson
01/15/08
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[Author's note: This true
story is written for women only.
If you're a guy, and read
it, don't get mad.
I told 'ya so.]
_______________________________________
So Hazael went to meet him
and took a present
with him,
all kinds of goods
of Damascus,
forty camel loads.
[2 Kings 8:9]
******************************
"Hey, LORD?
LORD!"

"What is it, My beloved."

"Hey!
Don't SWEET TALK 'TA ME!
It AIN'T gonna' WORK!
How come You're not bein'
any HELP?"

"For what, My precious."

"For my CAR!
MY CAR!"

[PATIENT SILENCE]

"Oh, yeah. I forgot.
You don't know nothin'
about that stuff,
do You?"

[MORE PATIENT SILENCE]

"Yeah, Lord.
They just had camels,
in Y'ur day. Did they
stick inspection
stickers on them, TOO?"

[CHUCKLE.]

"Hmph. Well, MY
camel's gettin' kind'a
long in the tooth,
though, he's not at
that spitting n'biting
stage, YET. Anyhow,
some friend looked
at my dirty windsheild,
the other day, and said
I should'a had my car
inspected.....eh,
sometime BACK..."

[VERY PATIENT, SOLEMN NOD.]

"So, 'Ya know,
I drive up to this
ONE place. A bunch
'a t-shirt guys were standin'
in front of the dusty, cluttered
counter. A Big Car Guy
was behind it; he was real
big, and wore a dity red hat,
and was chewing gum, and looked....
over at me. I waited
my turn, and then chirped,
very assertively:

'I need my car inspected.
Plus, my right front
tire keeps getting low,
and, my window stuff is
out.'

(Big behind-the-counter-
Car Guy stares at me.
He's chewing on
twelve pieces of gum; it's
the double-stuffed kind.)

'We don't do inspections.
And, 'ya mean,
your WIPER blades?'

(Impatient silence.
I can BARELY hear 'im,
what with all that wadded up
gum in his mouth.)

'Uh, uh! I mean that
YOU know: STUFF !
'ya know: that STUFF
that....COMES OUT.'

(I make a back n' forth motion
with my right hand. My left
hand is holding my big red
purse; it doesn't have any
gum in it.)

(Big Guy; looking bored,
and incredulous that I
even DRIVE a car.)

'Oh. 'Ya mean,
the WINDSHIELD
fluid, lady?'

(impatient sigh)
'Yeah. THAT stuff.
'Ya know: it SPRITS
OUT.'

(Big Car Guy nods.
He then glances
at the tire-shaped clock
over the cash register. It's
going on twelve noon.)

'Uh uh. You gotta' first
BUY the fluid; then,

[if you're LUCKY, and
if we're in a good MOOD.]

we'll fill it up for you.'

(I bite my tongue to keep
from saying something
in my northwest Philly
sarcasm, though since
becoming a Christian,
I've TOTALLY stayed
away from that stuff.
I sigh. It was a lot more
fun, just being Plain Jewish.)

'Of course. So, eh.....
where's a car inspection
PLACE around here?'

(Big Car Guy blows a
gum bubble inside his
mouth. He looks at me,
as if I just asked him what's
the best way to get to the
Antarctic Circle.)

'Well......eh, there's that
place down Nacogdoches.'

(I grip my car keys in hand;
Nacogdoches is only, maybe,
60 miles long, with a thousand
tire places on it.)

'Where.'

(Big Car Guy looks really
bored now. His mind seems
to be elsewhere: probably
on the MacDonalds, next door.
Perhaps, THEY could inspect
my car. Maybe, with a car
inspection, I'd get a free
cheese burger, and baked
apple pie. In the '70's,
their pies were fried,
and oh...SO much better!)

'Eh......eh, it's eh, 'YA know;
that place that's next to
Jack In The Box. Across
from Taxes-Be-Gone? Used
'ta be a nail shop? But, I
think they moved to.....'

(Oy gah veld!)
'WHAT's the NAME
of it? Do 'ya KNOW?'

(Big Car Guy moves the
wad of his gum to the other
side of his mouth. He glances
up again, at the tire-clock.
It's actually a cute clock;
every detail of a real tire
is on it, including that rim
thing. It actually is in
better shape than my
front right tire. Maybe,
I could TRADE........?)

'Eh, eh. Don't know.
Could be Brake World,
but, I think they went
outt'a business a couple
months back. You know
how it is......'

(AAAGHH! AAAGH!)

'Yeah, I know.
It's really rough, out there.'

(Big Car Guy blows another
bubble; this time it's outside
of his mouth.)

'Yeah.'

(Smile. Bite tongue
to keep from Philadelphianese
from popping out. Wish I
had some 'a that gum, myself.
But, he'd probably charge me
more than what my whole
CAR was worth.)

'Okay. Thanks.'

(On the way out, I can
hear more popping,
behind my back. Then:

'HEY, CHARLIE!
I'M GOIN' ta'
LUNCH!'

(Off, behind some secret
car-guy-hiding-place, next
to the huge windsheild wiper fluid
bottles, comes a muffled
reply:

'OKAY, BOSS!')

(Great. Now, I gotta'
drive AROUND in the
rain, or worse
YET, sit on the phone,
hearing my girlfriends
give me all sorts 'a
car inspection advice.
Their advice is a culmination
of ex boyfriend's, ex husband's,
or ex somthing's wisdom-of-the-
car-guy-world. I'm resentful
of ANYTHING with an 'ex'
in front 'a it, so I do the next
best thing. I look in the
Yellow Pages, and chew on
my OWN lunch. I finally
hit pay dirt:

'Hello? Do you
do car inspections?'

(Muffled, gum chewing reply.)
'Yeah.'

(I squint at my cell phone,
trying to concentrate
through all the car squeaks,
and rachet pounding, in the
background.)

'Did you say YES, sir?
Can I bring it in
TOMORROW MORNING?'

(A definite silence ensues.
It's almost as long as when
I pray to God to put 15
less years on my life: hey,
I figure that way, I won't
have to buy a new car,
you know?)

'Yeah. I guess.
But, only if it isn't
raining tomorrow."

(Being alone in the kitchen,
I have the luxury of letting
my northwest Philadelphianese
come to the core. [Since my
divorce, I notice that my
Yankee Jewish accent has
gotten a lot stronger.]
I roll my eyes.)

'Ah. I see. If it
isn't raining.'

(Gum pops in my ear.)
'Yeah.'

(Another eye roll.)
'Well, thank you.'

(2nd gum pop.)
'Yeah.'
(CLICK.)


So, LORD?
What da'Ya think of
my STORY? I bet
in Y'ur day, gettin'
Your CAMEL inspected
was a lot SIMPLER, huh?"

"Perhaps, child."

"Hey, LORD?
Can You just get
angel MICHAEL
to DO IT? Come ON!
Isn't he, like, the
patron archangel of the JEWS,
or SOMETHIN'?"

"Somethin', My Precious.
And, the answer's NO."

"You're no FUN,
'Ya know that, Lord?"

[SMILE.
NOD.]
***************************
Now when the queen
of Sheba
heard of the fame
of Solomon
concerning the
name of the Lord,
she came to
test him with
hard questions.
She came to Jerusalem
with a very great retinue,
with camels
bearing spices,
and very much gold...........
[1 Kings 10:1-2]














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