My youngest son, Max, is playing on the Mid City All Star Baseball team. One of the “traditions” is decorating cars with the kids’ names with shoe polish. I’ve never been really big on this because I’m always afraid the shoe polish is going to mess up the paint, or if it doesn’t it’s definitely going to be a pain to wash it off. Friday was decorating day, and I kept my truck far away from the activities. I knew it would be coming though. Right before we left Max ran up to me and pleaded with me to decorate my truck. “NO”, with a slight smile was the answer followed by more pleading, and then a guilt trip from one of the mothers as we entered the parking lot. My quick solution was to draw the number 4 with my finger into the passenger side door. Max thought that was funny, and I escaped without any shoe polish.
The next morning I had a revelation. There is no rule that says decorating a vehicle for All Stars has to be done with shoe polish. I drive a Ford Raptor which is touted as a truck that can be taken straight from the assembly plant to the Baja. The revolution was that I would decorate my truck without a drop of shoe polish. The perfect material for this job would be mud. Fortunately there had been a rainstorm a few nights before. Max thought the idea was perfect, and Saturday morning we went on a mission to find mud. The dry desert in West Texas had soaked up most of the water, but after about thirty minutes of scouting we found it and did everything possible to cover my truck in the elements of West Texas.
Three hours later I began to question my thinking on this adventure. I had spent most of my time washing the mud away from underneath my truck and shoveling it into a trash can to keep the neighbors happy. I was tired, covered in sweat and mud, and ready for this experience to be over. It was time to find out if my revelation was going to be a success or a failure. I took a wet, micro-fiber towel and carefully drew the number 4 in the door. Then I drew Max’s name in the rear passenger door. I carefully moved over every area that could support text in mud over the truck. The result was a masterpiece of manhood, but more importantly a huge smile on my son’s face and praise from every father on the team.
The mud will be washed off soon, but the memory of it will last a lifetime for Max and I.