I was looking through some old files on a flashdrive and found this story I wrote a long time ago for some sort of short short story contest. It did NOT win, but it made me laugh a bit, especially since I completely forgot I wrote it.
Always Wear Clean Underwear
I could have avoided all that trouble if only I had remembered to wear clean underwear. Mom always said, “Be sure you wear clean underwear. After all, you never know when you might get in an accident and you’ll have on dirty underwear. How embarrassing that would be for you!” Does anybody ever really think that will happen to her? Honestly, my problem wasn’t having on dirty underwear, rather none at all. Let me go back to the beginning before you get the wrong idea about me.
Yesterday was laundry day. The problem is that I left my delicate load in the washing machine overnight and by the time I realized my error, it was time to leave for class and my panties were still damp. I’m not the type of girl who feels comfortable going without undies, but I had little choice. I grabbed a pair out of the load as I transferred my delicates to the dryer, scooped up my book-bag, and was in my car in a flash. Having a car with darkly tinted windows can be a great advantage, and I used the opportunity to hang my panties from the little hook over the window in the back seat. This was great, as I had never actually found a use for one of these strange catches before. The drive to campus was about 45 minutes and I was hoping this would be long enough for my undergarments to reach a comfortable moisture level.
My radio was blasting as I sang along with “Tainted Love” on the 80’s station. Suddenly, the ring-tone of “The Imperial March” broke into my trance. “Hey Danni! What’re you up to?…. Of course I’m out of bed. I have class this morning….. Sure, I’ll swing by to get you, and Brianna….. See ya in a few.”
I cranked my radio back up and returned to my singing. I felt like the next American Idol in the comfort of my own car. Yes, I had become quite comfortable in my usual routine of my morning commute. I didn’t even mind the short detour to get my two best friends, and I had completely forgotten about my panties.
As I pulled up in front of Danni’s apartment, I saw that she and Brianna were out front waiting. They didn’t see me though, since they were talking to Cameron on the front steps. Cameron is a superior specimen in every way, and it is no secret that I’ve had a crush on him for about a year now. The problem is that I never seem to have the ability of making enough small talk around him to keep him in close proximity for long. I could have sat watching him for hours, but class was in ten minutes, so I honked the horn to get my friends’ attention. To my surprise, all three came strolling my way.
Brianna opened the door. “Hi Kat! Is it all right if we give Cameron a ride? His car won’t start,” she said, winking at me.
“Oh, sure. There’s plenty of room.” With that, Brianna hopped into the back seat, scooting over behind me. Danni told Cameron she didn’t mind sitting in the back, but he insisted he would sit back there. Once they were all in, I got the car back on the road. Danni was digging through my CDs when Cameron said, “I thought your name was Kathryn?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Why?”
“I just thought it was odd that your panties say “Angel”.
Smash! In my moment of shock and humiliation, the front end of my small sedan crumpled into the back of a soccer-ball stickered mini-van full of kids carpooling to school. The airbags had deployed. “Is everyone all right?” I heard myself asking, as if outside of my own body.
Once we all realized we were not only still among the living, but also mostly unharmed, we all got out of the car to check on the van full of kids. The side door on the vehicle opened and there was pandemonium as eight kids spilled out. Everyone seemed to have a cell phone in hand, and only a few minutes passed before the first cop arrived on the scene. The officer was taking my statement at the back of my car when one of the kids suddenly yelled out, “Hey, lady! Is that your underwear on the ground? Looks like it fell out of your car.”
Copyright by Terri Klaes Harper 2006