“Do anything exciting tonight?” asked my friend Clarissa.

…except that Clarissa isn’t really her name.

“You writing about this the way you did LAST time?” she asked. I said, well, maybe…

“Then don’t you DARE use my name. Last time ******** couldn’t stop laughing. He said ********** and I didn’t know about ********** and that maybe I should ************.” (Portions redacted to protect her identity)

“I mean it, Cynthia. If you write a blog about this, use a FAKE NAME.”

“OK, Miranda,” I sighed, which is why, in this story, I’m on the phone with a pseudonym.

“I washed the car, Gertrude,” I said, rather smugly.

“You went to the car wash?”

“Nope, I washed the car, Molly,” I said, patiently, “Me, myself. My own two little hands. I parked in my driveway, got out the hose and the soap and a sponge, and I washed the car.”

“YOU washed the car?” incredulously, “SherryBaby? With YOUR knee?”

“Not with my knee, Philippa,” I sighed with exasperation, “With the sponge. I told The Knee to go sit in the house, but he refused. Separation anxiety, I think.”

Separation anxiety, indeed. The Knee will shortly be totally be replaced by a titanium-and-silicone wonder named Elmo. I haven’t had that difficult severance discussion with The Knee yet, but I think he knows he’s about to be fired.

Suspicion is making him cranky, uncooperative, and extra painful. This is NOT the way to keep your job, Knee.

“Very funny,” she snorted, “Why in the world were you outside, wrecking your knee by playing carwash?”

“The frogs were chirping, the bees were buzzing, and I just wanted to enjoy the sunshine, get out in the fresh air, Hepzibah. Besides, The Knee is already wrecked. So I decided to wash my car.”

“Mmmm-hmmm. You went outside. In the sunshine,” she said, sarcasm dripping from the speaker. “On purpose. Yeah, right.”

“Yes, Lucille, I went outside. Why is that so hard to believe?”

“Maybe because I’ve seen vampires get out in the sun more than you. When was the last time you put paste wax on anything besides a glass mold? What really happened, Cynthia?”

Sigh. “Goose poop. A drive-by birding.”

Much as I love Glassland, and my job–smack dab in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary–there is a wee downside: The overactive digestive system of Branta canadensis.

The Canadian goose, as it’s better known, loves raising its young in the ponds and waterways of our little sanctuary. They feast on waterweed and lawn, and are nearly as prolific as their droppings. All that chewed-up grass has to go somewhere, and if you’re not careful where you step, you will be going, too.

Whoever said, “slicker ‘n goose grease” obviously meant “slicker ‘n goose sh-, er, poop,” because that stuff could give Teflon a run for its money.

I’d emerged from the office to find a cadre of geese doing high-fives over my car. SherryBaby’s normally red roof, windshield and hood sported a new paint job worthy of Jackson Pollock (assuming Mr. Pollock worked in slippery-slidey goose poop).


Of course, goose poop is only slippery-slidey until it dries. After that, it makes UV-cure epoxy look like a post-it note. “You’d better get that stuff off your car,” Mom warned, “It EATS car paint.”

It was 7:10. Car washes apparently close at 7:00.

So I pulled into my driveway and got out the hose, applied a little water to the fowl decorations. Not much happened.

Hmmm. I went inside, got a sponge and did a bit of scrubbing, added a little soap. That cleared a 2-inch spot in the artwork, which looked really stupid.

In for a penny, in for a pound…I thumbed on my phone and found an old 70s-80s playlist, turned the hose on full blast, got out the big sponge and the soap and some rags and got down.

There I was, doing something I hadn’t done since my teen-aged bikini-top-and-shorts, hey-mister-wash-your-car? days, having a blast. I soaped and squirted and shimmied and rubbed and danced with abandon.

Sorta. My driveway slopes at something like a 40-degree angle, so most of the water was sliding back downhill. Since that’s where I was standing, what I mostly was washing was me. As for the dancing…I have to admit it’s a lot easier to get down when you’re a teenager with two good knees and a lot less, well, you.

“What in the HELL are you doing?” asked Kim, my across-the-street neighbor, “Is your shower not working? Did you get something dangerous on your clothes? ”

Uhm…”Oh, hey, Kim!” I giggled, “Just washing the car…” I looked down and realized that there was, in fact, more water on me than the car. And unless there was a wet business suit contest tonight, probably would have been a better idea to change into my junky clothes BEFORE starting the carwash project. My shoes were squishing.

Kim surveyed the bird-poopy car and grinned. “Only you,” she said, “Here, hand me a rag. Got anything by the Stones?”

“Are you kidding?” I thumbed over to Forty Licks and we got down.