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Beth Penfinger

Back in my real estate days my office had a yearly plaque that would showcase the top agent for each month. I must admit, it is a nice feeling to see your own name engraved in decorative metal for all to see. But the company doing the engraving made a typo on my honorable mention. My name plaque read:

Close, but not quite. Little did I know that I would live up to my new namesake. Now it’s rare that I am compelled to flip someone the bird, even in jest. I know what the action really means, and I generally try to stay away from that phrase. I did once accidentally drop the F-bomb in front of my pastor and his family, but that’s a different story for a different day. But one afternoon while I was waiting at a traffic light, another driver enraged me. He was completely in the wrong. I’m not just saying that. He could have easily killed someone. My blood went from room temperature to boiling in an instant. I wanted, no, it became my civic duty, to call attention to his folly.

Normally, one would use their horn to indicate offense. I tried that. I slammed my hand onto the center of my steering wheel, expecting the loud blare to follow. Unfortunately, all I heard was silence because I mashed the wrong spot. Seeing that the offensive motorist was getting away without proper chastisement, I quickly rolled down my window and shoved my left hand into the air, giving him the penfinger.

But it was the wrong one. Finger, that is. Obviously my middle one was quite out of practice, and the ring finger just doesn’t quite give the same effect. I dropped my arm back through the open portal real quick-like, in the hopes that no one in the lane next to me noticed my ridiculous faux paus.

I could almost hear the throat clear of the Holy Spirit. “So Beth, did that make you feel any better?” “No!” I shot back, snorting with resigned laughter. “But that guy almost killed me and the little old lady crossing the street. Shouldn’t I at least get the right to flip him the bird?” The Holy Spirit’s laugh filled my car (at least it did in my head). “You seemed to have a little…difficulty with that one. Why don’t you leave the corrections to Me.” He paused. “That wasn’t really meant as a question.”

He had a good point. I usually end up looking like a fool when I take justice into my own hands. Or fingers. So it looks like, for now at least, I’ll be keeping the penfinger under wraps. Warmly nestled between my pointer and ring finger where it belongs.

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  1. David Motyl

    Graysen calls that finger Mr. Tall Man – after an incident at daycare.

  2. Jerimiah

    David, that was the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

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