*To avoid confusion (and disgust), neither of the pooped on cars in the photos are my car (which, thankfully, wasn’t pooped on that bad).
I hate having a dirty car. Regrettably, I don’t hate it enough to clean it on a regular basis, which is unfortunate because nature hates my car and seems to be waging war against my wheels. How often do I wash my car? It’s not really a question of How often, but more of a question of When. A car washing session is imminent when I start avoiding friends for fear they’ll recognize me in my dirty car. When has truly arrived once I can no longer make eye contact with strangers on my commute to and from work because of my car shame.
I wish it weren’t the case, but I’m terrible when it comes to washing my car. If I could, I’d be one of those car aficionados who won’t settle for less than a mirror finish. I want to be the one who owns a buffer and all the accouterments of good car care — but that’s not who I am. Oh, I’m that guy right after I buy a new car, but it never lasts long. Three months tops before everything starts collecting dust (including my car).
In fact, I just got this Memory from Facebook mocking my car-washing deficiencies:
When I bought my Mazda 3 back in 2014, I babied that thing for the first three months and bought a specialty shampoo (their term, not mine), soft microfiber cloths, car wax (I only waxed it once), and a clay bar kit to remove micro-contaminants from the car’s finish (also used one time). It got that loving care for maybe another month and then my zeal began to wane because no matter what I did, the outcome was always less than perfect. I could never get the car looking as immaculate as a true detail guy could.
So I grew lazy and stopped washing my Mazda for months at a time — I think I’ve gone up to 6 months between car washings. (I console myself that I’m helping the environment by not wasting water on a vanity project.) I will get out a big brush called a California Duster when things get really grimy, but that only helps so much. Five years later, I still have the same bottle of specialty shampoo.
Nature is my foe
Recently, my car needed washing thanks to the Arizona bird population. I like birds. I like them enough that I actually buy bird seed and feed them. And how do they repay me? By pooping on my car. While not quite a pooapocolypse, this last time was bad enough to draw curses from me. I don’t know what their deal is, but they seem to abhor a
pristine semi-clean paint job.
Trees I am also fond of particularly their shade when the Arizona sun is blazing overhead. But the sap-dropping bastards are another enemy of my car. I don’t know what kind of tree I recently parked under, but it was definitely the wrong one. It dropped sap down on my car like it was trying to encase it in amber. Globs of amber sap spattered everywhere like an arboreal money shot.
To top it off, there was a colony of delinquent birds sitting in the tree with nothing better to do than crap their brains out for hours. It was vile.
I’ve only had avian kind desecrate my car worse than this once before. It was when I still drove my beloved Celica. One morning, I went into my garage to head to work and noticed the roof of my car was absolutely disgusting.
Now, here’s the mystery. My car had been relatively clean when I parked it in the garage the evening before.
I couldn’t figure it out. What the hell had happened in the intervening hours? Seriously, it looked like a previously constipated condor had suffered explosive diarrhea and defiled my poor Celica.
Suddenly, with a slight flutter of wings, I had my answer. There, perched on the garage door opener above my car, sat the intruder, the fattest quail I’d ever seen, looking quite smug about his handiwork.
I have no idea how he’d gotten into the garage unobserved — quail spend a lot of time on the ground so he must have run in right before I closed it. And with nothing else to do, he had sat up there all night above my car pooping out an avian modern art masterpiece.
Anyway, this time I tried washing my Mazda with my specialty shampoo, and it got rid of the bird poop but the sap drops resisted every attempt to remove them. So I went and bought some Goo Gone and that kind of got some of the sap, but not all of it. I had to spend a miserable amount of time slowly trying to remove the sap. If I’d known how difficult it was going to be, I might have traded my car in. It’s enough to make me wish that the Phoenix metro area had actual mass transportation so I could be done with it and go carless.
So now my car is moderately clean. But nature hates my car and the grunginess on the paint is starting to build. Maybe a solution is to buy a monthly pass to an automated carwash? After all, no one should have to drive around in shame.
P.S. The Houseguest just mentioned that when a bird pooped on her while she was in India visiting her relatives, her aunt commented that it’s a sign of good luck. Someone told me the same thing when a bird pooped on me once. I dunno — sounds like propaganda from someone who got shit on by a bird because having something defecate on you sounds like the exact opposite of good fortune.
Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)
Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
The Far Side by Gary Larson