The cleaning of the car

Welp, I’ve come to that time of the year where the collection of junk and litter has begun to take over the car.  Where you kind of have to clear a path by your feet to have a level place to rest when you sit. 

How did it come to this, you may inquire?  It’s called:  life on the go. 

I took a gander today at the variety of garbage.  I saw granola bar wrappers, a handful of empty peanut shells, VBS crafts, approximately nineteen napkins from the last time one of the girls spilled a drink, an old license plate (because we are way classy, yo, and like to hold onto remnants from the DMV, extra points if it’s from a DMV out of state), at least 3 pairs of shoes where vanity got the best of the girls, enough rubber bands and barrettes to decorate a dozen heads, bank deposit slips and other small papers, four scantily clad Barbies, dead fly carcasses – they chose their tomb well, lemme just say, somewhere around 30 fossilized french fries, no doubt what attracted the aforementioned flies, twenty or so empty straw wrappers, and a rainbow like assortment of crayons from chain restaurants.  Fortunately the crayons have melted into the mats on the floorboard so they’ve become just another decorative feature of the car.


I’d like to say that Martha Stewart has had her influence in our automobiles.  Or that Mr. Clean has found his way into our vehicle.  But in our busy, hurry hurry hurry, we’ll be late if you don’t get a move on life, the cleaning of the car has been overlooked. 

I do attempt to grab large armfuls of junk and dump it when we fill up for gas, but as of late, it has fallen to me to fill up.  Usually, Lance and I work as a sort of Nascar-like team.  He pumps, I toss.  Since Lance has been working, it’s been my job to give the car some go-juice.  I always think I’ll get a chance to chuck a little when I’m done pumping, but there is always a string of cars and trucks behind me, patiently idling until my little Buick moves.  I’m pretty sure there would be some cursing and possibly a hand gesture or two if I took the time to declutter.

Really, it won’t take long to do it.  But what I dread is the backseat.  I don’t know if all children have this tendency, but my two girls are like little tornadoes that leave a wake of crumbs, spills and various bits of litter that stick to surfaces and require scratchy pads and a strong solvent.  I call them “Filth and Squalor”.  The girls have learned when I say those words, “Filth and Squalor” that they’re about to have a bath and begin undressing. 

We stopped feeding them fruit snacks in the car, because inevitably, there would be half a dozen stuck to the seats and under their carseats and glued to the seat belts.  I’m not sure if they are secretly having a contest back there of who can be the messiest, but I’m about to lose my mind.  These are snacks, girls, not edible suction-cup ornaments!

And who out there knows how to clean seat belts?  Really, please, if you have the answer, I’m willing to pay top dollar.  Who knew that seat belts become like plaster of paris, a kind of paper mache masking as a safety feature when soaked in a mixture of juice, soda or ketchup?

All that is nothing compared to the exterior.  My windshield looks like someone took a super soaker and filled it with large bugs and proceeded to take aim and fire.  I could, quite possibly, connect the dots and become a traveling advertisement for the highest bidder.  Why not just use the handy windshield wash feature, Kearsie, and rid yourself of splattered bug guts?  I’d love to, but for some reason we have yet to discover, the windshield wash resevoir was removed from the engine.  So I have to rely on the squeegie thingy at the gas station.  And as I have no desire to have a gun pulled on me for taking too much time at the Walmart gas station to clean my windows, I’m stuck with bug innards strewn across the windshield.  Even better is the polka dotted look I have on the black paint job from the obliging birds roosting in the trees where I park my car at work.  It’s a vicious choice- shade and bird poo or no shade and scorching red leather seats. 

I’m beginning to think that arson is the answer.  Perhaps I’ll just push my little Buick out into the pasture in the dead of night and have myself a bonfire.  It would work, except for the cow patties.  Why does that matter, you ask?  Well, lemme just blind ya’ll with some science.  Cow manure has methane gas, so it’s flammable.

Well, tomorrow is the big day.  Car Cleaning Day.  It shall be done, I promise.  Or if you’re in the Northern Alabama vicinity and see a large out-of-control fire, you’ll know I gave up hope and tossed a match.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alice Wiggins on June 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    You have such a great sense of humor and a way with words. I so remember those days of wondering how in the world all that “stuff” got in my car & how come nobody but me ever does anything about it. If I had forgotten, a trip in Andy & Kelly’s van would have given me a jolting reminder. Don’t despair, a clean car is in your future and unfortunately it will be all too soon!


  2. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    True, what I love the most is that my girls will soon have the pleasure of a car that has thrown up on itself when they have their own families. Yes, the future will be sweet revenge!


  3. Posted by Mom on June 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Why don’t you try this same handy trick your Grandmother uses…invite me to lunch and when you come to pick me up, I open the door and half a garbage can worth of trash falls out into my parking space. The remaining half of the garbage is stuffed into that little teeny tiny space where the “let me out of here!” door handle is. So in order to get into the car and be able to close the door after myself (do I REALLY want to do this?!) I have to pick up/clean up all the waste product before I can park my bo-hunk in the car so we can go out to lunch. At that point in time Grandma will usually say “I meant to do that but didn’t want to be late to pick you up”. This works so well I now meet her in the parking lot with a garbage bag and a pitck fork in my hand, prepared to muck out the van before take off. Who said you can’t get a free lunch anymore?!


  4. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 20, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Haha, Mom, you are so funny! Me and Gramma are alike in too many ways!


  5. I feel your pain… and I HATE being the only one cleaning the car, so I make the kiddo help. (After all its mostly HIS mess.. toys he has left behind, snacks he dropped on the seat or floor) But at this point, he loves to help, so it works out for me! hehe I rue the day he realizes its a ‘chore’!!! hehe


  6. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Sigh, I try…but they just can’t scrub yet. And I don’t think they know how to use a match yet…


  7. My favorite was always the forgotten sippy cup that fell under the seat. You just don’t remember it until you try to figure out what that strange odor is. So you get out the shovel, open all the van doors (and windows)and start to muck out the trash. It’s always the sippy cup under the seat holding the car seat. And after being in a closed van for a week in 100+ degree weather, all I can say is pee yew!!!


  8. Posted by candy0108 on June 21, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I swear when the girls have there own car one day it will house all their shoes because the van is just a one big shoe holder and speaking of holders I hate the cup holders in the back because they are sooo nasty with gunk that is impossible to clean. I think the reason it takes to long for us to clean it is because it takes less than a day to be back where you started from..


  9. Posted by Mom on June 21, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Puuulllleeeeezzzzzeeeee, tell me you do NOT have any “saved” kleenex piled up in the crevesas and hidie-holes in your car, ‘cos if you do then I want to know just WHAT OR WHO are you saving those yucky used kleenex for? If you ARE doing this then you really are like your Grandma and I will send you like 10 new boxes so you never ever have to feel the need to “save” them, okay? I tell your Grandma that kleenex are not souls, they can NEVER be saved, but as I pick them up (along with “saved” pieces of dental floss, which we will not go into) she usually responds with a story about growing up in the Depression. I knew the Depression was bad but I never realized people had to use OTHER PEOPLE’S USED TISSUE to wipe their orfices with. Dang! No wonder old people recycle the oddest things!


  10. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Haha, I don’t have any saved Kleenex, or dental floss. I”m thrifty, but not that thrifty! And as far as the sippy cups, thank the Lord those days are over! We’ve come across several in the past that could pass as science experiments! And Candy, I agree, why oh why did they make cup holders that can’t be taken out to wash is a mystery. Obviously done by someone with no children.


  11. Posted by Stephanie Smith on June 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    That’s sooo funny! My car and van have the same problem, my children. I loathe getting into my vehicle most days b/c I know it looks like little tornadoes hit it. I fuss every time we come home from anywhere for the girls to “get their crap out of the car”. Food, crumbs, paper have taken over in my life too. How about the fifty diff. church papers on any given Sunday. Do you throw them in the trash “accidentally” or not??? What do you do with them? I feel your pain!


  12. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 23, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Yes, many a day have I thrown away a work of art from some class and have had to comfort the girls. I do try to save very special things, but the random stuff from Sunday school? In the trash! Have to be ruthless or else drown in drawings!!


  13. does it really? cow poop? gaseous?


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