If I Were Fiction

There are moments when I realize I’ve gone too far into the land of my imagination. The symptoms have been creeping up for days, but they all congeal at once. The first symptom, which I usually overlook, is a tendency to narrate everything in my mind, no matter how dull. Here’s what I might be thinking as I do the laundry:

She pulls the pants from the dryer and glares at them. “I hate hanging slacks,” she mutters under her breath for the millionth time. Always the same, they never want to crease where they’re supposed to. She wrestles them into place and slides them onto the proper hanger…

Not interesting at all, but since I keep it inside my head where it belongs, it’s not really hurting anyone.

The next symptom is the inability to focus on anything I read, watch or hear. Suddenly Phill is the one who can tell that I’m not listening. I answer every question with “Um.” This one can cause some real trouble, especially when I answer “yes” to whatever Gabe just asked me. That can go horribly wrong. Once I reach this stage, I’m trying to reverse the damage.

The final stage is the one that concerns me most. It’s when fiction meets reality.

Today I was late getting out the door with Gabe. Guess what I was doing? Yeah, I was writing, and I got sucked in. We rushed out the door and sped off to school. This had to be the morning that someone would jump out in front of me, of course. I would say that 99.9% of the time I will let someone in front of me. But I can’t stand when someone shoves their way in.

I was back on schedule by this time, and Gabe was saying something cute, so I just let it go and drifted back into my mind. Plots were forming, electrical stuff was happening. It was good. Then the rude driver did something that pushed me into fiction mode. She rolled down her window and threw a piece of trash on the ground.


My teeth pull back from my lips, my eyes squeeze tight, and I make a sound that Gabe calls a bear noise. I really don’t like litter bugs. Really. Really. Don’t.

And as quick as that, I’m imagining what one of my characters would do in that situation. Or maybe what I would do if I were fiction. We all do this, I suppose, imagine what we “should have said.” But I was considering actually doing it.


Rachel gets out of her car, picks up the litter, and heads for the shiny black Mountaineer. She knocks softly on the window, and the floopy woman in the driver’s seat rolls it down.

“I only felt safe in approaching your vehicle because of your Christian sticker on the back,” Rachel says, smiling too sweetly. “I figured you didn’t have a gun, hee hee. Anyone with a sticker like that, showing someone who can even get their horse to pray with them, must be safe.” Rachel’s eyes are wide and innocent, but there are horns trying to tear through her scalp. The woman looks blankly at her. Rachel smiles, but a closed lip smile. Wouldn’t want anyone to see the fangs.

“Is there something I can do for you?” the woman asks. She smacks her gum, another unforgiveable sin.

Rachel holds up the trash. “You dropped this,” she says kindly. “I just knew you’d be horrified if you knew it, so I picked it up for you.”

I actually tried to open my door. Thankfully, it locks automatically, and the door’s refusal to let me out was enough to kill my plans. And since I don’t have horns and fangs anyway, I settled for glaring at the back of the Mountaineer. But if I were fiction…


Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t have a problem with Christian stickers, even ones with horses in them. I don’t have one for a couple reasons.

1. I believe my behavior should be the example of my faith.

2. Hubby hates stickers on cars.


But if you put a sticker on your car that you believe makes you a representative of something you care about, Christianity or anything else, remember that people are watching. Same goes for your tee-shirts and your fishy jewelry. (I do have some of those.) Rudeness and disregard for rules—like not littering—won’t make people want to be like you. Also, you should remember that you can never tell when a looney-gooney fiction writer may be in the car behind you.


~ by Rachel McMahon on March 30, 2011.

9 Responses to “If I Were Fiction”

  1. Haha I love the first one! Hilarious! Also, I’m with your hubs on the car stickering.

  2. Ummm hey! Just noticed your in TX!!! Are you involved in any writerly things around here?

  3. Loved it Babe! You are sooo funny! And yes, I do not care for stickers on MY cars…

  4. Wow! The inside of your head sounds strangely familiar…

  5. Hah! This just made my day. Litterers bugs the heck out of me, as well.

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