September 15, 2008


Sometimes I feel like I’m driving a laundry hamper/trash compactor on wheels. I realize (I do) there are many responsible people out there who can keep a tidy car. I’m not one of them - the mess just creeps up on me.
I am painfully aware of how much ‘junk’ we have accumulated when I drop my daughter off at school.

When she opens the door- I silently pray all the garbage doesn’t fall out with her.

When offering rides to my kid’s friends, I feel like I should ask if they’re current on their tetanus shots. One of my greatest fears is a car accident. My dread is not entirely based on the fear of injury to family or self.

“What other fears would there be, psychotic lady?” you ask.

My irrational fear stems from what the accident scene would look like. Upon impact, MY car would burst, like a popped water balloon. There would be mounds of clothes and toys, littering the street like the aftermath of a Fourth of July parade route.

Half-eaten apples, banana peels, and forgotten baby bottles –all adding a nice ‘aroma’ to the mix, which someone might think was a stuffed cadaver in the car. (And I’m going to call him 'Jim')

My car would be smashed, simmering in toxic food fumes – the stench might work as a repellant to the emergency crews trying to rescue us. (the toxic fumes are thanks to 'Jim', my new car freshener...‘Dead corpse ala mode’. And if you breathe deeply, you can catch just a hint of formaldehyde.’ Hmmm…loOovely…)

But there would be one valiant man, a lone brave knight who would test his courage…by opening the car door. The dangerous combination of decaying food, fermented corn [that’s another story], and Jim, would cause an atomic explosion the moment he opened that door.

Goodbye Mr. Brave-rescue-worker. (That was a nice Eulogy, Camryn.)

As for the next guy? He’s pushed passed the fumes and is now digging through an Everest pile of trash. He plunges boldly into my car shouting, “I know someone’s in here! I just- I just can’t find them!”

“Of course we’re in here, silly. A trashcan can’t drive itself.”


Double DuH.

But of course Mr. rescue official can’t hear our shouts. They would be muffled by my kid’s trash. The good news is, the trash would have kept us well-insulated.

Having spent sleepless nights imagining this scenario, I have now installed tracking devices on all my kids’ car seats –since they’ll most likely be buried alive.

I have also altered my emergency car kit. It now includes: No food (the leftovers in the car should be sufficient to sustain us for 3 days). Hammers, chisels, ropes, and a metal detector. (I’m hoping I’ll be in the vicinity of the steering wheel.)
Flare guns were considered, Although...I could see the flare lighting the car on fire…so I scrapped the flare guns and added whistles. Oh- and sonar equipment.

In the event that I’m injured, nailed by a stray candy bar flying through the air and smacking my head at 75 MPH, I’ll probably be moaning– (this is where the sonar comes in) which could inadvertently be to our advantage! (I admit…I have never practiced moaning as an emergency rescue technique...)

As we are extricated from the 'trash-mobile', I imagine the rescuer commenting on my new tattoo as they pull me free- the one I received when the candy bar walloped my forehead.
“What happened?” he’d ask.

“I was just hit by a ‘whatchamacallit.'”

Official: “You mean you don’t know what it was?”

Me: I pronounce each syllable slowly.

“It was a ‘W-H-A-T-C-H-A-M-A-C-A-L-L-I-T.”

I can see the skepticism on his face.

So I answer, sighing heavily, as if I am revealing a terrible secret. “Actually, it’s a birth tattoo. They stamp ‘whatchamacallit’ across the forehead of mutated newborns. Upon leaving the hospital, the nurse hands a note to the parents that reads:

‘Love your newborn, hold them tight, because whatever you got, just isn’t right.
Pink or blue, we could not tell, when it was born we thought, ‘what the….”
Your whatchamacallit is so sweet, never a cry, never a peep!
Whatever your little one turns out to be- for it is a mystery- we’ll never know if it was a he or she.’

Okay- so I probably got hit in the head a little too hard…

When it was all over, the accident scene cleaned up, the trash gone, the clothes gathered, and the car hauled off to trash heaven, I suppose we would buy another car.

Despite thinking I would positively keep it in pristine condition, I know the toys, socks, and shoes would eventually begin to pile up again, and suddenly…I would end up where I am now.
Only this time, being smarter and more resourceful, I would have decided to ‘go green’. I would upgrade from our GMC trash compactor, to the just released, 4x4, Whirlpool Genie.


Natalie said...

That is so true. I feel like I am constantly cleaning my car, and it is so pointless. It just gets dirty seconds later. I am always so embarrased when I give someone a ride home from somewhere.

AnnieAd said...

A clean car is actually one of the nice things about having the kids grown up and married - they can trash their own car!

Mertgirl said...

I like to call it my "Mom" car. Piles O crap, food decay, toys.. HATE IT! But, I dont change it. LOL--love the ode to it.

tina said...

You just haven't seen mine.

Amy said...

My favorite the other day was when Taylor got a ride home from school from a friend and said, "Mom, there car is dirtier than ours!" I thought, oh halleluah, I'm not the only unorganized messy car driving lady on the block, woo hoo. You are hilarious by the way.

Heather said...

Oh good! Jim has left my car to invade yours! wait, then WHAT is that smell and junk in MY car??

Garlick Fields Forever said...

Woman- I am laughing very hard right now. We need to keep in touch.

Loralee and the gang... said...

...and I thought MY car was a mess! I always refer to it as looking like "the bottom of a nasty garbage can". But I think you may have me beat! hee hee. Cute story!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA! This just made my day!

Our car is definitely a trash collector. And the car seats, OMG! I feel like we need to lay plastic down before we put the kids in them!

Where did you find that whatchamacallit ditty, it was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Gayatri said...

Very Funny, Loved the composition. I am in the same boat as you. Never offer rides to anybody as i don't want them to bump into Jim.