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My old car, Slick, was a real prince! Faithful, handsome, plenty of power – but Slick was getting a bit long in the odometer, so the time came to find another car, and I was fortunate enough to find Mercy. She’s a sleek, dark silver beauty with many great car features. Each time I happened on one – such as the blue interior running lights or the sound of the Romero Brothers filling the car – I found myself saying, “Mercy!” So my new car became Mercy. One of the exclamation-worthy features of my new car is the trunk that can be opened by a kick under the back bumper at just the right spot. Voila! The trunk springs open to receive the armloads of whatever.

One of the exclamation-worthy features of my new car is the trunk that can be opened by a kick under the back bumper at just the right spot. Voila!

Well, not always. I was returning to my bright new car one exceptionally cold and windy day, my arms filled with the week’s provisions, and I thought, “Boy! This is the kind of situation this trunk opener was designed for!” I positioned myself at the rear of the car and commenced kicking. Nothing. I kicked again. Still nothing. Trying desperately to hang onto my composure as a competent person, kicking for all I was worth, I noticed someone approaching. He had a puzzled look on his face which undoubtedly had something to with the spectacle of the person kicking away at the underside of a car. Some new form of line dancing, perhaps?

And then reality dawned: I was kicking the wrong car – probably this guy’s car! I scurried away (at least as best I could, with my arms loaded with bags and my face to the ground) all the while trying desperately to remember where I had parked my beautiful new car with the kick opener. I thought about going down the row of cars and trying to kick each one that looked even vaguely familiar, but I didn’t think my arms would hold up – not to mention my self-respect. Finally I realized that I was one row over from where I had parked. I made my way, as inconspicuously as possible, between the cars to the correct row, and there was my beautiful new car! I marched right up to the rear bumper, my head held high, and confidently kicked. Mercy! It opened.

I know some people are clever enough to take a picture of where they’ve parked, but I’ve never quite understood what they took a picture of – I know what the car looks like, the cars around it may move and there aren’t enough markers in the lot to be of much help. Maybe I should just take a picture of the bumper; at least I know where to start kicking.

I thought about going down the row of cars and trying to kick each one that looked even vaguely familiar, but I didn’t think my arms would hold up – not to mention my self-respect.

I just want you to know if you happen to see someone after a SACMS concert wandering through the parking lot of Temple Beth-El, kicking under car bumpers and calling, “Mercy,” don’t be alarmed. It’s just me, looking for my new car and taking the opportunity to thank all of you for coming to the San Antonio Chamber Music Society’s 2015-16 season.

– E Doyle

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