Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's in YOUR car?

By Annette Dashofy

I jumped in my car yesterday to make a quick run to the post office. What I saw in there (the car, not the post office) appalled me. I’m here to confess: my car is a mess.

Like most people, I live in my car. Figuratively. I’m not homeless, so I don’t sleep there, but I do tend to do most everything else in there. Eat. Drink. Listen to music. My car contains lots of my stuff (think George Carlin’s “stuff” routine).

What it doesn’t contain are knobs. Remember knobs? Those things we used to turn to adjust the radio’s volume or the station. Now it’s all buttons. There are no knobs in my car. Therefore, there is no place to hang a garbage bag.

Usually I loop one over the gear shift, but I tossed the last overflowing bag of trash and haven’t replaced it. So the floor on the passenger side is…well…revolting. Evidence of my on-the-road munchy attacks sit there. Empty coffee cups. Paper bags. Candy wrappers.

I can’t let anyone ride with me until I get out there and clean it up. How embarrassing.

But even when I’ve de-littered the vehicle, an archeologist could tell a great deal about my life by excavating my back seat. Here are a few things you can find there on any given day:

A yoga mat and wool blanket—These are for the private sessions I teach. Plus I figure the blanket might come in handy if I get stranded during one of the winter storms we’ve had.

Environment-friendly reusable shopping bags—These are always there. Even when I’m in the store, because I inevitably forget to take them with me.

Spare ear muffs and gloves—See above mentioned winter storms.

Gracie Garmin the GPS Unit—She keeps me from freaking out if I get detoured or just generally lost. Except in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh confuses the hell out of Gracie. She especially hates Grant Street.

Box of Kleenex—Don’t leave home without them.

Sticky roller—I never notice the cat hair on my dress slacks until I get in the car. I also have several friends and family with cats who send their fur home with me attached to my clothes.

Ice scraper—Those winter storms again.

Under my seats you will find a monster flashlight that doubles as a weapon, a battered umbrella, two Pennwriters ballcaps, and more candy wrappers.

Then there is my music. I only carry one or two CDs with me at a time unless I’m on a road trip. The two I have in my car right now are Aerosmith and Celine Dion. One is to stay awake. The other is to de-stress. You figure out which is which.

So what does your car say about you? Give us quick tally of what we might find in your backseat. While you’re out in the garage taking inventory, I’m going to grab a trash bag and clean out the evidence of how much I’ve spent at Starbucks recently…


Tory said...

Praise the Lord, I've cut down on my "decorator coffee" consumption recently (boy, does that save money!) and don't have any used cups there. But the rest you mentioned are in my vehicle.

Except, instead of a yoga mat and blanket, I have a snow shovel and bag of salt. Standard gear for Michigan winters. The husband of a friend of mine who was also raised in Michigan used to kid her about her gear, but I think we each got the last laugh when we got a really bad winter and were prepared for it. After that, I proudly display my badge of knowing how to deal with "real" winters, not these snow/sleet/freezing rain/hail/rain ones we get here in the 'burg.

I've been told, in Minnesota having a wool blanket in the car is standard gear. Not for yoga. In case you get caught in a blizzard.

Annette said...

Tory, I didn't even go into what's in my trunk. Coveralls, more blankets, de-icer stuff. It's all packed in a plastic crate that gets stored in the basement once the warm weather comes.

I've cut down on the coffee, too. But my trash is evidence that I haven't eliminated it completely.

My word verifcation this morning is "sings."

Joyce said...

Go ahead and hate me. All I have is a scraper.

Gina said...

Annette -
I gave up on those little bags you hang from knobs long ago. Now I have an honest to gosh garbage can on the floor in the back seat -- it's one of those plastic rectangular ones, about 18 inches high, and I fill it to overflowing frequently. In my car I also have a lot of parking receipts and gas receipts, and print-outs of driving directions that I might need someday to go back to that place I've only been once in my life about a year ago. A scraper and brush for the snow. A little brush and dustpan for cleaning the inside of the car (like new - rarely used). Lots of spilled sidewalk salt. Bits of leaves and branches from the last time I hauled yard waste to the city's compost center. Loose change. Kleenex, especially those that fall between the seats and wedge there, out of reach. Pens. An air pressure gauge or two. An old pair of glasses (in case I lose a contact and need to see to drive). A plug in charger for the cell phone I used to have. The Club. I'd better stop here, before I get to the trunk where, in addition to the blanket and big towel, I keep extra dress shoes and pantyhose, just in case, and all kinds of car stuff, like windshield washer fluid, etc.

Annette said...

Gina, you can even make car clutter hysterical!

I've noticed no one (including myself) has mentioned anything about books. I USUALLY keep a ratty old issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in the back seat. However, I finished the last one and haven't replaced it yet. Probably because it's been too cold to sit in the car waiting on anybody. In the summer, I drop hubby off at the auto parts store and grab EQMM while I sit in the parking lot and wait. And wait. And wait.

Karen in Ohio said...

Maps, one of those crazy multi-tool thingies, wipes/tissues/napkins, salt (in case of French fries), pens, cell phone charger, water bottles, hands-free cell doohickey (and all my kids better have theirs in their cars, too), emergency makeup, sewing kit, change, umbrellas, brush, ice scraper, straws, window shades for parking in hot sun, bulldog clip to keep the darn seatbelt off my sore shoulder, and cereal crumbs from the last time I babysat my grandson. In the trunk are tire jack, jumper cables, spare hat/gloves/scarf, space blanket, another umbrella, reusable shopping bags, plastic crate for the groceries, and a large piece of fitted plastic that has kept the floor of the trunk of my eight-year old car pristine. Oh, and there may still be some pine needles from the wreath I bought in November.

Karen in Ohio said...

Forgot about the two pair of sunglasses and my reading glasses, which I decided to add when I realized I couldn't read the map without them.

Anonymous said...

My husband refers to my car as a 'rolling purse'. From time to time, one could live for days with only the contents of the back seat.

Another great blog, Annette!

Annette said...

Rolling purse. I like that!

Karen, do you catch yourself then trying to drive with the reading glasses? I do that all the time. Or did. Now I've admitted that my eyes are old and just wear the darned trifocals. I can read the maps, read the instruments, AND still see the road.

I never mentioned all the "stuff" in my console cubby either. I could do a whole other blog just on what's in there.

Oh, and I found more yoga props in my trunk!

Karen in Ohio said...

No, Annette--I no longer need glasses to drive, unless it's a day that requires sunglasses. But I have, indeed, left the glasses on, pretty soon after my LASIK surgery, which was eight years ago. I haven't done that in a long time, though.

I've spent so much time in my car over the years; having all the stuff I need close at hand has helped make life just a little easier.

Joyce said...

Doesn't anyone else vacuum and Armor-All their cars every couple of weeks?

Irishembi said...

I think it's hilarious that Pittsburgh freaks out Gracie, Tom Tom, Google etc. Anytime someone assures me they'll just google my address for directions, I say, "er, not such a good idea....."

I'd list the contents of my van, but I'm sure nobody wants to read a dictionary sized list of detritus on your comments section. :-)

Annette said...

Joyce, every couple of weeks??? Try YEARS.

And, yes, Pittsburgh can be an "interesting" city to drive around.

Becky said...

Our vehicles are clean on the inside but for some reason they refuse to clean the bed of the truck after deer season. It never fails so guess who is out there cleaning up the blood & hair so I can haul something.

Patg said...

Boy isn't that the truth about coffee.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

You'll usually find an empty Diet Dr. Pepper can or Starbucks cup in the cup holder, Golf clubs, shoes, shirt, shorts hat in the trunk. Many times there will be a partial manuscript in the rear seat, but other than that, I keep a fairly clean car.

BTW, peaking of cars, I just received a job offer that has a lot to do with cars. More details after I accept, which should be tomorrow.

Annette said...

Can't wait to hear the good news, Will!

Joyce said...

Yay, Will!!!

Brooke said...

well car stereo playes a great role to make every journey very musical and delightful. car stereo installation is also not that difficult as it looks.. you just need to follow step by step instructions, color photos, wiring detail, as well as what tools ans parts you will need to do a professional installation.. so there is one source from where i buyed stereo for my car and other car accessories i.e. car stereo installation, take a look and ENjoy!!!
Have a good day!!

Joyce said...

Hey, how did that spammer get past the squiggly letters!??

Casey said...

"She" (spammer) copied them! Or the bots are getting smarter.
My car - the trunk has an array of emergencyish equipment - shovel/scraper/kitty litter (in winter), oil, flares, flashlight, umbrella, etc. Backseat has trash bag (I stretch a grocery store plastic bag over the passenger side headrest so the bag is in the back - perfect for me to reach, and I rarely have three passengers so it's not in anyone's face), pillow and blanket, bag with coloring books/crayons/little dinky toys for when I'm taking my little brother and sister on longer rides. Center console has pen and paper, change, a couple CDs, and chapstick. Glove compartments (there's one drop-down and one in the higher dash part) have nail clippers, plastic utensils, napkins, tissue, license/registration stuff, car manual, in case of emergency info, mints, washcloth, flashlight, and maps of the US, Canada, our state, and the next state over, I'm there semi-frequently.

There really isn't much miscellaneous crap, that's in my purse. now THAT would be a horrifying list ;)