Monday, April 26, 2010

Who's laughing now?

Last week the kids and I were visiting with a new friend we met while working on Seussical –  the whole family just fell in love with Miss Elizabeth. I look at her and think, “If my girls, at 25, have the maturity and hilarity of Miss E then I will thank the Lord and be very, very happy.”

(One problem of being a Christian who writes is after I say something like, “…then I will thank the Lord,” I feel like I have to add a the disclaimer, “Of course, what I mean is I will thank the Lord even if my girls are immature brats who dress like hussies and drink like fish,” but that makes the writing a little messy. That is what I mean, though. Well, what I want to mean. See, this is why I don’t do disclaimers.)

Anyway, Miss Elizabeth was telling the kids and me a bit about herself, and she started by talking about how she was raised in Tennessee. “I always wanted to live in Nashville,” I said. And she said, “We lived in Franklin, just outside Nashville.” Um, yeah, I know where Franklin is; Franklin is home to many famous residents including many Christian music artists. And many of those Christian artists go to Christ Community Church, which I mentioned to E. “Sure, I know that church. We went there.”

At this revelation the kids realized Miss Elizabeth had stepped into a minefield. They settled into their chairs, waiting for the inevitable question grenades to begin. But I didn’t have to ask; Elizabeth dropped the first bombshell unprompted. “Do you know the Steve Green cd’s, Hide ‘Em in Your Heart? I got to sing on that when I was a kid.” She offered this nugget of her past like I’d say, “I had a Winnie the Pooh cake for my fourth birthday.” Completely nonchalant. Completely unaware that some people would be impressed by this. And by people I mean me.

Turns out Elizabeth and her family were friends with not only Steve Green but also Michael Card, two of my favorite artists when I was in high school and college. After she opened that door I began peppering her with questions; my children’s contribution to the conversation was to laugh at their mother. I didn’t care – the stories Elizabeth told were exactly what this fawning fan wanted to hear: those men I’d looked up to were not only singing about truth but living it out.

We were wrapping things up when Michael jokingly asked, “So, does your family know any other famous people?” The kids had lots of laughs that evening, all at my expense. But the tables were about to turn, because Miss Elizabeth dropped one more bombshell: “Well, we’re good friends with Darrell Waltrip and his family.” Darrell Waltrip was a NASCAR driver and a current NASCAR commentator. He’s also the voice of Darrell Cartrip in the movie Cars, where he utters his famous line, “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing!”

Now guess who was speechless?

She had only the highest praise for the Waltrip family, which thrilled Michael.

Even after Miss Elizabeth was gone Michael’s jaw was on the floor. “They know the Waltrip’s!” he kept saying.  It stopped the laughing at mom. For a few moments, at least.  And I'll take what I can get!