One might think that I’d not fallen down or had any other sort of unfortunate mishap since May 3, 2005. Rest assured, this is NOT the case. I am covered with my accustomed number of bruises (mysterious and otherwise). I broke a glass last week. On another occasion I broke a plate (A CORELLE® plate – “break resistant” my ass – I believe that “break-resistant” by their definition means, “Will not break into normal pieces like other dishes but will shatter so that every single broken shard has a deadly knife-like point”). I have dropped the contents of full ice-trays at least three times recently. I’ve spilled plenty of…everything. I also got overly aggressive with some “no-pain, no burn” eyebrow “waxing” stickers. For a few days it looked like I had eyelid leprosy (now they are just suspiciously flaky). BUT I’ve decided that if I regaled my readership (and they say I’m not an optimist) with every tiny little accident that I suffered it would not be at ALL interesting (this is, naturally, operating under the premise that ANY of my calamities ARE interesting in any way).

Never fear, I do have something for you today. Amusingly enough, I was not the faller or spiller or bruiser or whatnot – it was my PARENTS! I was merely the unlucky victim. My Mother and Father had taken a deli tray to some sort of potluck festivity (using my car). When putting the tray on the backseat floor, my Father did not securely fasten the lid onto the sandwich spread (some variety of seedy, vinegary, mustard imbued concoction). My Mother attempted to clean this substance from the floor, where it had mostly soaked into the floor mat. This begs the question: Why was my Mother cleaning up the spill that was my Father’s fault, especially considering that she cannot move without the assistance of a walker right now? I suppose that’s a topic for another day (and it brings up some stories that just embarrass the HELL out of my Father) – tee hee.

The next day I got into my car, intending to keep a couple of appointments in Salt Lake City. I was assailed immediately by the strongest vinegar/mustard/mystery-substance odour that I’ve ever experienced. I called my Mother just to confirm that I was not being poisoned by anything and she explained what had happened. The stench, though, was so overwhelming that I had to cancel my appointments, turn around, and immediately drive to the nearest super-duper car wash. I had the mats and carpets shampooed after I had the exterior washed. I even condescended to use one of those tree-shaped “air fresheners” that I tend to dislike. Of the myriad choices I opted for the “vanilla” scent. Now my car is redolent of baking. That makes no sense, I know, but it’s as logical as, for instance, “piña colada” scent (“No, officer, we are not having a drunken fiesta – it’s just piña colada air freshener in the shape of a tree, naturally.”) Anyhoo, I left the windows open on the car as directed; I put the mats in the sun to dry as I was instructed. The car itself did smell better. The mat from the back seat, however, still absolutely reeked! I left the mats out of the car and let them air out for a few days but to no avail. Yesterday I went back to the super-duper car wash and had them re-wash the carpets and the mats. What do you know – when the mats were dry the back seat one STILL stunk to high heaven.

This is where I got creative (in this scenario creative=desperate). I tried special extra-strength pet odour/stain cleaner – the type that comes with two separate canisters. Don’t you just LOVE that? Are they asserting that the cleaner is made of two such potent substances that they CANNOT possibly touch until they are directed at the appropriate filth or some radical explosion will occur (like all those bright pink explosives in the movies – you’re done for when the fuchsia pink chemicals mix with the others you are DONE FOR! Rabies vaccine is the same colour, incidentally, so maybe they are giant rabies bombs). Super-explosive pet cleaner didn’t work. Next I tried extra-strength Febreze®. Numerous applications didn’t make any difference. I resorted, next, to the kind of cleaning product that I usually assiduously shun – super-toxic death chemical inventions that take up more space on the container with alarming warnings of death and destruction than with instructions. Yes, I purchased an automobile interior “cleaner/deodorizer” that alleged it would not only get rid of any stain and/or questionable aromas, but it would also prevent future stench. And if you think I’m being a chemical pansy (or an overbearing, tree-hugging ecologist) I should tell you that just the propellant for this stuff contains butane AND propane (does it function as a barbecue or a rocket or a lighter as well?). So yesterday, with this caustic death substance, I shampooed the HELL out of the car mat (using mountains of scary foam and scrubbing endlessly with the brush from the cap). I was theoretically supposed to remove excess cleaner with a damp cloth, but I’d finally loaded the thing with so many death-bubbles that I took a hose and sprayed the thing until it didn’t foam anymore. Fear not – I figured since they say you should wash your car on the lawn (if you insist on doing it at home) so that all the cleaners and gunk don’t end up in the ground water that rinsing that mat on the lawn would probably serve the same purpose. Perhaps we should not tell my Father? Then again, he was the spiller culprit in the first place.

Today I went to smell the mat under the delusion that it couldn’t POSSIBLY contain a single molecule of the mustard/vinegar/spackle (?) dressing. I was mistaken. I’ve decided that this is FOR CERTAIN the material one should use if they need to permanently tag an item with some kind of scent (and they don’t care if it makes you ill to smell it for too long in a confined space). I hit the thing again with oodles and oodles of extra-strength Febreze®. Nope. It was time for more hazardous chemicals. After I’d scrubbed the thing until I was utterly wracked with pain and still found an alarming number of the little mustardy seeds on the scrubbing implement, I gave up. I hosed the mat (on the lawn again) thoroughly, to say the least. It’s been in the sun again for hours. To tell the truth, I’m afraid to go and smell it, so I shall just leave you in suspense in regards to the success or failure of my pollutive efforts. You are welcome to contact me for the results later, as I’m sure all y’all are on pins and needles with unbearable curiosity about this matter. Oh, the life I lead.