Choose Your Guardian Angel
By George Clever – 28 September 2013
A shimmering image stood at the bottom of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s bed waiting for Dale to wake up andnotice his brilliant visitor. Then he did.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?
“I am an angel.”
“You have too many wings to be an angel. Three pair I see. Angels only have two wings. I saw the John Travolta movie Michael.
“I am a Seraph. My name is Ralph. We have six wings. Two to cover our face when we accidently land in the bathroom when you are on the john. Two wings are to cover our bodies and feet. Our bodies always get cold flying around and after all, feet are really ugly. The last two are for hovering and flying. There are 9 different angels or 10 if you count the fallen ones.
“How did you get into my bedroom? The door was locked.”
“I made a skeleton key. On earth I was a locksmith.”
“What do you want with me? Get out before I call the cops.”
“Can’t do that. The big guy sent me on this mission. Well actually he didn’t. It was the third in command the Archangel, the angel union boss. He usually handles all this stuff, but he had an important meeting with the Big Guy and sent me. Besides, your phone doesn’t work when I showup. Go ahead and try it.”
“You had better tell me why you are here in a hurry. There is a 12 gage shotgun by my night standand I will blow off your wings like a turkey shoot in two minutes.”
“Look Dale your dad was a great NASCAR racer until his accident when he joined our union. When you were a boy he stuffed a Chevy 350 engine in your pedal car and you blew away all those kids in the soap box derby. You were so much in a hurry to be like him when you were born you forgot to pick a guardian angel. Dale senior watches you at all the races and is concerned about your safety without the help of a guardian angel.”
“What’s a guardian angel?”
“Well, it is one of the nine who has only two wings like John Travolta. This angel brings you messages at times when you need help. You know, like that front tire is losing air fast since you ran over the track trash. You had better make a pit stop before it blows and you spin out of control and crash.”
“Yeah, I heard that message during the last race at Charlotte. I thought it came from my pit crewchief.”
“Nope. It was from your dad standing in for your unnamed guardian angel. Sometimes guardianangels appear in person, but not often. Archangel, the boss, likes to do that one and scare the begebbeout of folks. Usually they just bring a message good or bad. Sometimes they place a thought in your head or a stranger might appear and help you at critical moments. I even know one who drops a penny in odd places for someone to find or just to help that person remember to do something.”
“Ok. Just assign me one and get out of here so I can go back to sleep.”
“Can’t do that one either. I can give you a list of potential angels for you to choose one. Some of theangels on the list are newbies wanting to pick up a few halo points so the boss will give them some of the more cushy assignments or maybe even an angel elevation in rank and another set of wings.”
“You have got to be kidding. Pick my own guardian angel?”
“Here is the list for you to consider. Look them over and make a selection of four or five. I will sendthem to you next week where you can interview them for the job. See you after you choose one. Just circle the names on the scroll. I will know.”
The Seraph handed Dale junior a scroll and vanished as quickly as he had arrived. Ok. He just opened the door he had unlocked and walked out. Dale turned on his bedside light with the #3 on the shade and untied the scroll. There was a list of fourteen names. This was going to be a tough decision.
The Guardian Angel List
1. Elvis (Singer)
2. Johnny Cash (Country Western Singer)
3. Evil Knievel (Daredevil)
4. Gilda Ratner (Comedian)
5. George Carlin (Comedian)
6. Sherman Hemsley (Actor)
7. Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers TV Show)
8. Dick Clark (TV Personality)
9. Clark Gable (Actor)
10. Marilyn Monroe (Actor)
11. Richard Nixon (US President)
12. Steve Erwin (Crocodile Hunter Animal TV Personality)
13. Neil Armstrong (Astronaut)
14. Johnny Carson (Tonight TV Show Host)
Dale’s eyes closed as he tried to get back to sleep, but his mind clicked on. What kind of questions do you ask a dead person interviewing to be your guardian angel, especially famous ones?
The next morning before leaving for the #88 Hendrick Motorsports race track garage, Dale read the list once more and circled four names Nixon, Monroe, Knievel, and Carson. As a successful race car driver, Dale was a “hands on” driver, checking and building his cars. Inside his 66,000 square foot Hendrick Motorsports facility, he slid under the #88 car on a mechanics “lay down dolly”, another dolly slid alongside his.
“Hey, I’m Dick Clark. It’s so good to be back with you this year. Now why wasn’t I one of the four potential guardian angels on your list?”
“You’re not dead Dick. You never look old on TV so I am sure the real Dick Clark is not dead andcrossed him off my list.”
“Ok, maybe I can find a gig bringing in the New Year or hosting a Sox Hop with the baby boomers in the sky.”
“If you are Dick, could I ask you how you keep so young looking?”
“Sure, if you want to stay young pick your parents carefully the next time.”
And that is the way it was for Dale the next few days. All the dead famous people he did not pick showed up with the same question “Why not me?” Shaving one day, Dale looked in the mirror and saw the Man in Black.
“Hi, I’m Johnny Cash Why not me?”
That one almost cost Dale his nose when the razor slipped.
“Well John, I have a bit of bad streak in me. We might not do the right thing together.”
“Yes, Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one and Cash causes all the trouble. These two fight. Sorry it did not work out. For you I would turn the tide or at least tip over a competitor’s car in a close race.”
“Ok, I’ll look for some guy who drives trains or is in prison. That makes for good song material.”
A few days later in a warm up test for #88 on turn two Dale looked over at the passenger side of the car and saw Elvis, Foster Grant shades, dressed in a gold sequenced leisure suit.
“I was in a race car movie once. Hey, I really dig this. We could ride together in all your races if I was you guardian angel. That’s a pretty good mannequin likeness of me you have in your garage with the cherry ’55 Chevy. Never did own one, but I like’m. How come you didn’t pick me for an interview?”
“There are still some people here in the good ole USA you think you are still alive.”
“Well, I’m not. Sure do miss Vegas. Man I really like Vegas. Wish we had one up here, but the boss says it would attract too many fallen angels. I like entertaining people. Really miss it. Well I’m off to a "Look like me” convention and mix with the fakes. Oh, one more thing. When you interview Monroe say hello for me. She has what all women have, but does so much more with it.”
It was a good thing he left in a vapor trail then as the car was beginning to overheat and needed a pit stop. Dale’s crew swarmed the overheating car checking for its cause. His crew chief stuck his head in the car and said.
“Good thing you made this pit stop. Now tell me why I was not chosen for an interview.”
It was Sherman Hensley’s from The Jeffersons, a TV sitcom. His face was on the head of Dale’s crew chief.
“I have just about enough of this. You all are driving me crazy. Why would George Jefferson ever want to be my Guardian Angel?”
“You know…..I‘m moving on up to the eastside. That is where all the Seraphim live, but you first must become a guardian angel.”
“Sorry Sherman, I just never thought you would be interested.”
“If I paid you to think you would cash your check in a penny arcade. Thanks. Thanks for nothing.”
With that the face of George Jefferson disappeared and Dale’s crew chief’s concerned frown reappeared. It was time for a break as Dale crawled from the car window and headed to the drivers lounge.
The Guardian Angel Interviews
Dale spent one of those special moments next morning looking at a favorite treasure, a framed picture of his dad and himself surrounded by the trophies they had won racing. He missed his dad.
“Hey, your dad misses you too. “
The dad in the picture was speaking to him. Dale thought back to the party night before reassuring himself he just needed to get more sleep. Maybe he had one too many girlfriends.
“Have you picked the potential guardian angels you are going to interview?”
Spinning around, Dale looked to see no one else was in the trophy room.
“Is that you dad?
“Yes, and I want you to get this guardian thing finished before your next race. Your firstinterview will show up today. Get on it.”
The lips on his dad’s face in the picture stopped moving. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs Dale headed to his new indulgence, a beautiful pool at the back of the house.
“Maybe I need a swim. I am seeing and hearing things that could end my driving career if I told anyone about it. Yeah, a dip in the cool pool would be the best tonic. I’ve got a sponsors meeting this afternoon. Need a clear head.”
It was getting cool in Monroeville, North Carolina in the last days of October. After a few swim laps, Dale stretched out on a lounge chair for a warm up by the sun.
“A cup of coffee sure would be good about now.” He said to himself.
“Well Dale, I know a man who gave up coffee, smoking, drinking, sex and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.”
Dale looked into the sun at the voice standing over his lounge chair. He recognized the face.
“Be damned. It’s Johnny Carson”
“I would appreciate it if you would say Heeeereees Johnny! I’ m here for the interview. By the way, do you know for days after my death hair and fingernails continued to grow, but the phone calls tapered off. What do you want to ask me?”
“Just one question, did you ever do anything bad?”
“I have to tell you I was so naïve as a kid I would sneak behind the barn and do nothing.”
“Johnny, I need a guardian angel who understands when I bump another car ahead into the wall to get them out of my way in a race.”
“I never us a big word when a little filthy one will do. Does that help?”
“I’m afraid not. Thanks for stopping by.”
This interview process was not going to go well. Dale dressed and hurried to his Motorsports shop. Maybe the personnel manager who hired his seventy employees for the shop would have some useful questions. After all, wasn’t choosing a guardian like hiring a mechanic? Entering the office, it was not his personnel manager sitting behind the desk. It was Clark Gable dressed in the white suit he had worn in the movie Gone with the Wind.
“How can I help you kid?”
“Clark Gable? What are you doing here?”
“My agent up there sent me. I‘m your next interview. He said you needed a guardian who knew women. Well I’m your man.”
“Clark, you have been with a lot of women. I assume you still get a lot of action up there. How will you ever find time for keeping an eye on me?”
“If I had jumped as many dames as they say I wouldn’t have had time to go fishing. With all those beauties you are dating you need me in your corner.”
“Clark, will you be disappointed if I tell you I don’t think you are the kind of guardian angel I need?”
“Dale, frankly I don’t give a damn! I only came as a favor to your dad. I lost a bundle to him in a poker game. If I hurry back I may be able to get a few dollars back. They say you can’t take it with you. Don’t believe it.”
Returning home late that night, Dale heard the click of pool balls coming from his game room. Who could be in my house and playing pool at this hour he thought. The door opened for him and a voice said,
“Come on in. I know it is late, but I do my best work at night. You know that Watergate thing. Theysure bungled that one. Cost me a lot. I’m here to be elected to the guardian office. Do you have any questions? Yes, I really need this job to make a political comeback upstairs. Have to earn my wings you know. Before we begin I just want you to know I am not a crook! I am not a crook.”
“Wow! President Nixon. How could you help me in my racing career?”
“Two ways I think. Sometimes you need to bend the NASCAR rules a little to win don’t you? Well when the president does it that means it is not illegal. Sometimes you lose a race. A man is not finished when he is defeated. He’s finished when he quits. I won’t let you quit.”
“I don’t think this will work for us. You would have to bring along all those secret service guys and it would slow down my car. Thanks for coming by. Good luck in your next election up there. I really need a good night’s sleep.”
On Sunday night a good night sleep is often hard to find. This night was no exception for Dale. No sooner than he was under covers in the middle of a yawn there was a blue light and camera flash bulbs goingoff at the bottom of his bed. A blonde woman in a white dress appeared to be having difficulty keeping her dress around her knees as an unknown wind whipped it high. It was Marilyn.
“Hi, Sorry I am late. I have been on a calendar before, but never on time. Can we do my interview now? I have a birthday party to attend at midnight.”
“If you were my guardian angel what could you do for me?”
“Well, I know the President.”
“Know in the Biblical sense? You do realize he is dead.”
“Oh I have met them all and yes they are all dead like me. I sing at all their birthdays.”
“You had many men in your life on earth and left them. Would you leave me in a crisis?
“I’ve never dropped anyone I believed in. I have found it is better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.”
“You are very beautiful and I would look forward to your appearance with messages, but my girlfriends would not. I don’t think this would work.”
“A smart girl leaves before she is left. See yaa! Anyway, it is all make-believe isn’t it?”
Sleep would not come easy that night for Dale, especially when Marilyn Monroe had been in his bedroom. He had one more visitor that night in his dreams. It was the six winged Seraph.
“Dale, wake up. It’s me Ralph the Seraph. Wake up. I’m in trouble. You have got to help me. If I don’t get you to pick a guardian angel by tomorrow I may lose my Seraph rank. The big boss would bust me down to, heaven forbid the tooth fairy. You have got to pick you guardian before your next race and you have only one more candidate Evil Knievel.”
“Go away Ralph. I need my sleep after interviewed dead people all week. It is making me feel creepy. I’ll see him in the morning.”
“Ok. He has got to be the one. Help me out here.”
It was late in the afternoon of Halloween, October 31st. Evil Knievel was a no show. Dale was heavily involved in race car preparation for the race at Dover on Sunday when his secretary called.
“Dale, one of the sponsors is here and wants to show you a new fire suit you could wear tomorrow. Will you please meet him in your office?”
In the frantic preparation before a race this was not what Dale needed. He needed to fix on winning on Sunday. Winning had been elusive of late. Oh well, a few minutes with a sponsor meant a few more dollars to pay the race car bills piling up. He opened his office door and was greeted by a man in a red, white and blue star studded fire suit.
“Hello, I’m Evil Knievel. Your secretary was not going to let me in until I told her I was a sponsor with a new suit for you. Let’s get this interview over so you can go back to your pre-race work. I know how that is. I couldn’t get here sooner because I was buried in work with my motorcycle tuning and preparations for my jump over Saint Pete’s Pearly Gates. What do you want to know about me?”
“Have a seat. This will only take a minute. I know you love racing and thrill events.”
Do you mind if I stand? I did everything by the seat of my pants and that’s why my butt hurts so much from all the falls and bone breaks. When I hit the pavement at 80 miles per hour these suits just rip off. Do I get the job of being your guardian angel?”
“Yeah, you’re hired. There might as well be two crazy men in my race car. Do you have any advice for my race Saturday?”
“Yes, chicks dig scars. Pick up a few when you wreck. If in doubt in the race you go for it. One more thing, think about jumping the Grand Canyon in the #88 NASCAR. I tell you that jump would draw a crowd.”
Last Saturday I attended a 50th Anniversary celebration including a Catholic Mass at a church in Boston, New York. The priest gave a sermon on the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man with a description of angels. This seemed to be a message for me as my writing assignment for the week was to be about guardian angels. Yes, I believe in angels and guardian angels bringing us messages and keeping us out of trouble. I have learned there are nine types or ranks of angels, ten if you count the fallen ones. They are overseers and deliverers of God’s sentences that are sometimes rewards, punishments or directions. Angels were created by God to fulfill his desires. There are times when angels interact with human beings appearing in a visible or invisible form placing thoughts in our head and even taking on a human form to accomplish a task God assigned. American Indians believe the messages angels bring are often delivered by hawks or other animals in the forest. May we all be of good faith and listen to the messages our Guardian Angel brings.
john g. 11.10.2013 00:14
George, your wrting brings me so much joy. As Dean Martin said, keep those cards amd letter coming..Jeannie and I read everyone. John
Jennifer Clever 07.10.2013 18:57
I think my guardian angel is you. You are just in disguise with the title of my husband. Another great story.
14.04 | 15:16
George, Idealism killed by shot of fact. Clark
14.04 | 14:51
George, This is a fascinating article. Clark
03.06 | 00:41
Hello Frank, Unfortunately, the turtle head has to come off and the insid...
02.06 | 21:22
my turtle just died and I want to create a rattle. How do I prepare him to do this.