I am not superstitious. Friday the thirteenth never scared me at all. After all, I was 13 on a Friday the 13th.
Last Friday the thirteenth was a pretty good day. Things that had gone wrong earlier in the week seemed to straighten themselves out by early that afternoon. I was sleepy, but that was because I’d missed a lot of sleep that week.
Just about seven o’clock I headed out to run my last errand. I had to take my daughter out to the garage to pick up her van. No problem. But, she mentioned she was going to church to hear her son sing in a special evening service.
Oops! Earlier in the week I’d promised three grandchildren I’d be there to hear them sing in the choir. But, I was really tired. I’d probably sleep through the whole thing and embarrass them. But, I promised.
Solution—I’d drive by the church. There probably wouldn’t be any parking places, so I could go home and sleep. The kids would understand.
There was a parking place right beside the church’s side door. Okay, I’d go in, stay awake until the kids sang, and then leave.
I was welcomed noisily by the four youngest grandchildren. That woke me up for awhile. Just as I was about to drift off to sleep the 3-year-old grandson crawled up on my lap. That woke me up again.
The program was lively and kept me awake through the grandkid’s hymns.
The 3-year-old moved on, and the people were called forward for blessings. All I needed was the blessing of sleep, so I quietly slipped out the side door.
I unlocked the door of our new Jeep and crawled in. Then I decided I should lock the door. Bad move. While I was trying to figure out which button locked it, time marched on, and the security system took over.
The horn began to honk and the headlights began to flash—right beside the church where the people were being blessed.
I remembered that when the pick-up truck we traded in did that you had to turn on the ignition to stop it. I tried, but the ignition wouldn’t turn on. Second choice was to push the panic button again. I did and it set off a siren.
No matter what I did that Jeep just sat there and alternately honked, shrieked, and flashed—right beside the church where the people were getting individual blessings.
I went right to the head man, “God, turn this thing off so I can go home and I’ll never leave church early again!” If He answered he said, “No!“
I knew I had to go back and drag out some of the family men to help me. Even if we could turn the ignition on I could drive it home honking, shrieking, and flashing, and then Bill could turn it off.
When I got back inside the church I couldn’t even hear the noise. Neither could anybody else inside the church. God bless our little well-built church!
The guys finally got the noise stopped and the engine started, and I promised myself I’d learn to disarm the security system when it was necessary.
Now am I superstitious? Of course not. Friday the thirteenth wasn’t my problem. It was just my everyday mechanical ineptitude.
Editor’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on March 18, 1998.