“What’s that bumper sticker say, Doris?” Berlyn asked her sister, as she drove their old Lincoln down East College Street.
“It says ‘Fat people are harder to kidnap’. Now what do you suppose that means?”
“If I had to guess, I’d say it means the driver is fat and is digging down deep to find something good to say about it.”
“Well, I never heard of such a thing. Of all the advantages of being fat, that one’s kind of silly. Pull up beside it so we can see if the driver’s fat,” Doris said with a mischievous snort. Her head snapped to the side as Berlyn made a quick change of direction to pull along side the car in question.
“Well? Can you see her, Doris?”
“Yes I sure can, Sister. I think you were right. She does appear to have made a few too many trips through the barbeque line.” The women tittered at Doris’s uncharitable jab.
The two sisters were on their way to church. They attended the First Baptist Church in the sleepy little town of Griffin, Georgia, less than an hour south of Atlanta. They hadn’t missed a service since 1974 and that was only because Berlyn had forgotten to fill the tank with gas and the lines at the pumps were so long, they missed it. Doris still gave Berlyn grief about that.
“There’s another one up ahead, Doris. What’s it say?”
“Which one? The blue car or the red car?”
“The blue one. What’s its bumper sticker say?”
“Lemme see, that one appears to say…gosh darn it, I can’t see it. Get closer Berlyn. Oh there, now I can read it. It says, ‘Do you follow Jesus this closely?'”
“That’s a nice Christian one. So many of the bumper stickers these days are so suggestive or un-Christian-like,” exclaimed Berlyn. She honked and waved to the driver to indicate her approval.
“You’re so right, Sister.” Doris patted her hair into place and peered at her reflection in the visor mirror.
“Now how about the red car. It has a sticker too. Can you read that one, Sister?” Berlyn asked.
Doris flipped her visor back up and hunted for the red car in question. “Oh, that one. Yes. Let’s see. It says ‘Visualize Whirled Peas’. Umm, that one’s making me hungry but I don’t get it, do you?”
Berlyn thought for a second, the car swerving over the line as she did, then said, “Haven’t a clue. But here comes another one on the silver car parked on the right.”
“That’s a long one, slow down. Okay it says, ‘Sex on television can’t hurt you unless you fall off.’ Oh my! I think I need to say an extra prayer today Sister for just having read that one!”
“Amen, Sister,” Berlyn said as she bumped down off of the sidewalk.
Doris spotted another sticker and said, “Here’s another one but it’s just plain silly. It says ‘Help wanted-telepath: you know where to apply’ But, oh Sister, there’s no phone number or address.” She chuckled uproariously.
Berlyn laughed so hard she hit the curb again. “I’ll bet they don’t get many applicants for that job, eh, Sister?”
“No, ma’am. I’ll bet they don’t. I hope they got their money back from whoever made it for them.” They continued to giggle about the help wanted bumper sticker until they pulled into the church parking lot.
Berlyn grumbled as she did every week. “I hope they fix these parking stripes soon. I swear, every row of spaces is painted backwards,” she said as she turned down one row after another of diagonal parking spaces. She finally found a spot near the fire hydrant that always seemed to be available.
“Sister, you lead a charmed life,” Doris said, “You get this wonderful parking space every week!”
The ladies walked arm in arm into the sanctuary in great spirits.
“How ya’ll doing today, Miss Berlyn and Miss Doris?” Mr Ernest Johnson, formerly of Barnsville, Georgia, asked them with a nod of his head, holding Miss Doris’s gaze a little bit longer than necessary.
“Why fine, Ernest. And how’re you?” Doris asked, with a twinkle in her eye.
“I’m here another day thanks to the Lord and it’s a fine one at that.”
“Amen. Will we see you at school on Monday, Ernest?” Doris asked with a coy tilt of her head.
“Oh yes, ma’am. Everybody knows ya’ll are the best driver instructors in the state of Georgia!”
This one is dedicated to my grandmother, Doris, and her sister Berlyn who did indeed live in Griffin, GA. Though the story is completely fictional, my grandmother never drove a day in her life.