Meanwhile, in the backseat, the three of us were trying to climb out the window. We were so scared! Isha was crying, crying, crying. Daddy was more embarrassed than anything else. Frustrated, too, because his plan had somehow backfired. Now he had to wait out there in the street and talk to all these people whose cars Isha had hit. Can you imagine! We didn't mention that we took their newspapers, just that we hit their cars, and then we had to drive over to the ATM to take out money to reimburse them for the damage, money we didn't really have to spare. I think it cost us over one hundred dollars, when if we had bought the papers at the newsstand it would have just been five or six dollars.
We laughed about it, though. Right away, we laughed about it.
We sat in the back and turned it into a song. Lyn made it up to poke fun at Isha, but we all joined in soon enough. We sang: "Ride a little, bump a little, tear the mirror off a little . . ." It came with its own little singsong melody. It got to be a long-running joke in our family, one of those Greatest Hits–type stories you take out and tell over and over again. Isha gets all red-faced whenever we bring it up, whenever we start singing, because it certainly wasn't her finest moment, but even now, all these years later, that little song can get us going. One of us will fall in to singing, and the others will chime in, and at the other end we'll just laugh and laugh and remember what it was like out there in Compton, back when we were all still making it up as we went along, learning the game by touch and feel, on some level knowing our world was about to open up for us in a big-time way.