I have a tendency to not wash my car in the wintertime. Even when it hasn't rained in weeks I have this sense that it *should* rain, and since it should rain, it might rain. And since it might rain it would be silly to actually wash the car.
And so I haven't.
The only time I clean out the car trash is at the gas station or the car wash, and lately every time I've been to the gas station I've been to one that doesn't have the little thingamajigger that allows you to pump gas and walk away (I'm looking at you Arco). I have to hold the nozzle and pump. Which means I can't clean the car. Because there's no time you see - I'm in a hurry. In fact I'm late for work.
In the meantime I've been driving these children around. I'm sure you've noticed that children, despite rules and best efforts, never come without some fundamental accessories: snacks, water bottles, gum, assorted papers and pens, hats, stuffed animals and crumbs. You might have thought that children simply eat things that make crumbs but that's not true. All children come with crumbs as part of the original factory equipment. It's a feature. That explains a lot, doesn't it.
Today might be a good day to wash the car, it's gray but not rainy. Despite the holiday I have no intention of doing it. But I did decide to take a brief inventory because when I started to look around me I couldn't believe the stuff I had in the car:
- 3 half-drunk plastic water bottles that, according to the latest meme I read, will give us cancer if we drink them.
- 30-40 gum and cough drop wrappers. We like to chew gum and we recently had colds. Half of the gum wrappers contain used gum because whenever I chuck it out the window the kids berate me to death.
- Tissues. New and in the pack, old and wadded up. Folded, balled and occasionally sticky, they are stuffed with secret surprises, none of them good. Don't touch that.
- One faux polar bear hat, complete with paws.
- Insurance paperwork. I really should take that inside the house, it looks important.
- Hand sanitizer. Little children touch everything. And then they eat with those hands. And then they feed you with those hands. Germy, disgusting and full of love. Put this on your hands. Now.
- One half eaten bagel. Really? No wonder my car is full of crumbs. And oh man, is that HAM? My god.
- Assorted peace symbol jewelry that they both claim is theirs. So now it's mine. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with peace jewelry. I mean I like jewelry and I like peace, but I haven't actually worn peace jewelry since I was 13. Hmmm. I wonder if that is a clue as to the rightful owner?
- The largest, heaviest American history book in the world. That apparently no one needs. I say that because it's been in the car for at least two weeks and if someone needed it, they'd take it with them, right? She says, in her defense that "it's all online."
- Tangerine peel. Amazingly, this also makes crumbs.
- A pair of purple and white striped socks. Because apparently, one day, one of them couldn't bear to keep them on her feet for a moment longer.
- A florescent green, never-comes-off-until-you're-dead-and-maybe-even-later permanent marker. I shudder to think about where I should start looking for the graffiti. Because we both know that somewhere around here, undiscovered, is florescent green graffiti.
- Albuteral inhaler. Because all of this crumby florescent trash might just throw you into asthmatic spasms.
- The tool I bought to crack the window in the event we should drive off a bridge and into the water - rendering the electric windows useless and mercifully saving our lives. It also measures tire pressure.
- A super duper, mechanic-grade professional chrome tire pressure gauge. Because you can never be too sure about the air presure in your tires.
- Stolen lipgloss, wrapped in special tissues and hidden in a secret compartment. Or at least she thinks it's a secret compartment. And it might still be a secret except that she hid some half-eaten food in there a while back and I had to tear the car apart looking for the source of the awful smell. Well hello there, secret compartment!
- 49 cents worth of coins. Not the useful kind that could be used in street meters. The car holds lots of pennies and no quarters. Why do we still make pennies? It costs more than they are worth just to make them.
This concludes today's archaeological tour. You'll note that the tour does not include a survey of the trunk. The trunk is the car equivalent of the la Brea tar pits without the valuable artifacts. Baby bottles, cooking supplies, various and sundry clothing comprise merely the tip of the iceberg. Give me enough time, I'll have dinosaurs in there.