Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Junk In Your Trunk?

Right now, my car is clean. This is not notoriously the case. Usually, when I open the doors to my vehicle to let my children out, the kids are often followed by an avalanche of discarded toys, sippy cups, story books, and half-eaten granola bars.

I *TRY* to keep it clean but these kids have this habit of taking half of their possessions into the car whenever we go anywhere. Oddly, those MUST HAVE possessions that they can't live without for even a hair of a minute are tossed aside and forgotten the moment we pull into our driveway. It's another of those weird constants of parenting. Like, "Your kid will fall asleep for 11 seconds when you pull in your driveway and NEVER NAP AGAIN."

(And yes, I've limited how many they can bring or thought about banning outside toys but HEY! Look at that! THEY'RE HAPPY! While I drive! I will sacrifice much to bring about The Happy when within the car).

Anyway, my car is currently clean. And I'm aiming to keep it that way.

Now, way back when I started driving, my car stayed relatively clean. I'd pile it high with my soccer gear, backpack, and various CD cases. And my parents would periodically peer in the windows and suggest I clean my car.  So I would.  Begrudgingly, because really, what if I NEEDED one of the things I carted around?

But one day I discovered why.

I hung out at a friend's house one fall evening and we ate pizza and drank way too much soda and generally had a good time.  Soda was not an item that usually showed up in my house, so I took a can of Coke so that I'd have one for school the following week when I'd inevitably stay up way too late the night before.  Before I pulled out of my friend's driveway, I put the can in the rear seat cup holder.

And I promptly forgot all about it. For three months.

I was driving down the major road in our area on a cold January afternoon.  The truck in front of me had a bunch of crap that looked to be going to the dump and none of it was tied down particularly well.  Suddenly, a box dropped off of the back of their truck and to avoid running it over, I quickly swerved into the exit lane and headed off of the highway.

At the same time, I heard a loud "POP" come from the back seat followed by the weirdest, "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" sound I'd ever heard. Then it started raining.

IN my car.

 It appeared to be raining... Coke?

As soon as I realized what was happening, I blindly threw my hand around the back seat, searching for the possessed can. Unable to catch it, I searched for a place to pull over. Ahead, a red light waited. I pulled up, slammed my car in park, and practically dove over the seat to grab the can. The can that, at this point, was spinning in rapid circles as it sprayed Coke from the windows to the roof to the floor.  I grabbed it, noticed the light was green, and panicked.  WHAT TO DO WITH THE CAN! THE CAN THAT WAS SOAKING EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH WITH A SHEEN OF HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP AND CARAMEL COLORING!?

I swear that can was possessed.

In a moment of brilliance, (panic?), asI drove through the intersection, I tried to drink the soda faster than it was spraying out. It was so cold I thought I'd die of brain freeze.

Thankfully, the can seemed to have exhausted itself and I was only forced to down a mouthful.

I was able to pull over into a gas station parking lot and with the help of MANY paper towels, I got the car clean.

Moral of the story?  Unless you want your headline to read, "Car Crashes Into Ditch After Soda Can Explosion," clean out your car.

Your upholstery will thank me.


  1. Same story, sub in Root Beer for Coke and HOTTEST SUMMER DAY for fall. Mine was hot and on the floor, rolling from side to side. I knew it was there, but did not know why I had left it, so I was not going to remove it, just in case - or something like that. Hot can of soda nicked the metal bar that the seats slide forward on and BOOM!

    Lucky for me I was driving and it was on the passenger side, where it promptly soaked my friend. :)

  2. I'm cracking up because this is SO me.

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