One of the unanswered mysteries of the universe is this; why do kids play the same videos and CDs over and over and over just short of wearing them slick? When Jill was six Santa brought her a Cricket doll. Cricket came with a cassette tape that plugged into her back and she talked and she talked and she talked. Jill adored Cricket and took her everywhere.
Late Christmas Day we left on our very first family ski trip we had saved and planned for all year. About two hours down the road, we realized we had made a bad decision letting Cricket come along on the 17 hour drive to Colorado. The constant jabbering drove Travis so crazy about 13 hours in to the trip he held Cricket hostage, rolled down the window, and threatened to throw her off into a deep ravine if Jill didn’t promise to give the doll a rest. I came across Cricket digging through some boxes not long ago. She still scares me.
The video the kids almost wore out was Disney’s Pop and Rock; a tape of cartoon clips set to popular music. One of my favorites was a segment of Goofy set to a Stevie Wonder song. Easy going Goofy danced out of his house in a suit headed to work. Smiling and waving he got in to his car and the minute he shut the door a strange transformation began. A wicked smile crept on his face and his eyes became evil slants. He gunned the engine and took off down the driveway hitting garbage cans. Then he raced down the street cutting people off in traffic and snarled all the way to the office. When he got out of the car, the evil Goofy faded and lovable Goofy instantly returned. He could turn his game face on and off with the click of the door lock.
We laughed every time we saw it because honestly there’s a little bit of Goofy in all of us. Some just hold it in check better than others. What is it about driving that brings the absolute worst out in people? Recently I sat amazed watching the driver of the car in front of me flash an unkind hand sign at another driver he obviously felt was moving too slowly. He must have had a temporary memory loss about the Jesus is My Co-pilot bumper sticker on the back of his car. It made me sad and I wondered; if he’s mean with Jesus in the car with him, what he’s like all by himself?
As your mom probably told you every time you left the house, be nice. When you get in your car today try to remember to keep your inner Goofy under control. If you just can’t help yourself, at least cover up your bumper sticker.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another …” Ephesians 4:32