Sunday, August 2, 2015

Carjacked by an Amishman

        Imagine, you're a young mother, on your way home from work. As you drive down the quiet streets of a small town in Iowa, you are looking forward to a peaceful evening with your four children. There seems to be some kind of commotion on the street ahead. Cars are pulling over as an Amish buggy swerves out of control. You pull your mini-van over to the side of the road until things calm down.

        An Amishman pulls open your passenger door and jumps in. "Quick, go after that buggy!"

        My wife works in Iowa City. One of her co-workers lives in Kalona, a small town in Iowa with a large Amish population living nearby.

        Her co-worker told her this story of how she was carjacked by an Amishman. After he jumped into her car, he ordered her, "Go after that buggy!" She started after it without knowing what was happening. He encouraged her, "Go, Go, Go ... that's my horse, that's my buggy and nobody is in it!"

        My wife's co-worker asked, "What are we going to do?"
        "Pull your van around in front of my horse and he will stop!" She said that she argued with him. "Maybe your horse will crash into my van and not stop." There wasn't enough time to debate the subject. He insisted, "Pull over right now!" She complied with his demands and pulled in front of his runaway buggy-horse, and in fact, the horse did come to a stop, just as he had expected. He jumped out and quickly grabbed his horse. She headed on home to her family and the quite evening she had planned.

(I may have a few of the details wrong in this story... but it was pretty close.)

        If you have read my novels, you know that my writing is about the clashing of two worlds. Have you ever eaten a candy bar and intermittently sipped from a glass of sour lemonade? Well, I enjoy that contrast. Sour lemonade makes chocolate taste sweeter.

        I have had many experiences where two worlds clash; modern life contrasting the old-fashioned Amish world. I work in a college town (Iowa City, Iowa) I drive through those busy streets filled with scantily dressed students, every hand holds a cell-phone, earbuds pouring private music selections into each ear. One moment I'm at a busy intersection. (always one person with road-rage nearby) Fifteen minutes later, I'm driving down a quiet country road. Two little Amish boys wave at me as they pull a wagon with a container of milk they are delivering to a neighbor family. Teenage girls hoe between rows of garden produce singing hymns together. Sometimes I would rather just enjoy the chocolate and skip the lemonade. However, after a sip of lemonade, chocolate sure does taste sweet!

Life is interesting... you never know when you will get carjacked by an Amishman!

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