Carol McCrite

I recall one particular Christmas season when my heart was full of giving and cheer. I had vowed to keep the true spirit of the holidays in all I did that year. There were only two teenage children left at home, and I felt it important to set an example for them.

I had some important errands and lost myself in Christmas music on the car radio ... in fact, I sang along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and felt pretty darn holy about the whole scene when I pulled up to a red light at an intersection. I couldn’t help but notice the one obvious bumper sticker which I took as a message from above. You know ... kinda like the Shepherds experienced so long ago on a Bethlehem hillside.

“HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS” it read. Here was my opportunity to bless the socks off another fellow pilgrim! If I correctly recall, before the light turned green, I hit my horn. 

To my abject horror, and the ruination of the beautiful holy day, an arm shot out the window on the driver’s side and a large digit waved in the air when the light changed, and she sped away!

What? How dare this rude person ruin my holiday mood when all I intended to do was bless her ... confirm her obvious Christian roots? I put the pedal to the metal. She would not escape my clutches. I would confront her with such outrageous behavior and maybe she would repent! Apologize!

She was speeding down a major four-lane so I had to speed to catch her. (Hopefully the state trooper would understand, should I get pulled over for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.)

When I saw her stopped at a major intersection that had a reputation for long lights, I pulled up and signaled for her to roll her window down. Amazingly, she did! I raised my voice ... “Your bumper sticker clearly stated to honk if you loved Jesus. I did ... and you made the obscene sign. What the heck?”

The woman’s eyes grew wide as a deer’s in headlights as she threw the hand with the nasty digit over her mouth!

“Oh no! I forgot all about that bumper sticker. I just bought this car yesterday!” Then the light turned a beautiful shade of Christmas green and once again she sped away.

I hesitated a second ... a second mind you ... as I contemplated the absurdity of this entire scenario ... when I heard the loud, obnoxious, impatient horn of a big mud truck parked just off the tail of my Chevette. What the heck?

The only bumper sticker I had proudly displayed was MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT. I felt 99 percent sure this local yokel didn’t bear those same sentiments. So, to keep the commitment I had made to self and to the spirit of the Season, I smiled in my rear-view mirror, shot my arm out the driver’s side window and wished him a very Merry Christmas, American style.

Carol McCrite lives in Whittier.