My car is dirty, inside and out. It is silver-coloured, and it drives through mud sometimes and we don’t have a big yard to run a hose through so I can’t wash it by hand but have to take it to a car wash for a run through the big scary machine. Both kids have gone through phases of terror re: the big scary car wash machine. Fresco is in the final stages of that phase now, so even though we live two blocks from a gas station with a car wash machine, I don’t go. The car is dirty.
Inside the car there are orange peels, fruit bar wrappers, cracker crumbs, crusts of bread, toppled no-spill cups, board books, all the hats, all the other mitts, the occasional sock covered in cracker crumbs, my dented aluminum water bottle. I am not joking, it is filthy and would probably give half of you lovely people nightmares. It is far easier to clean the interior of my car than the exterior; we have indoor parking, the parking spot is right by an electrical outlet, we own a Dyson vacuum. And yet, down around item #8 on my perpetual to-do list, right after ’email HR to follow up on dental claim’ and before ‘clip toenails’ sits ‘vacuum car.’
Today we went to Metrotown, a very large mall nearish to our house. We go there every few weeks. I always park in the same spot, although I was informed by Trombone today as I drove into the parking lot that in fact I usually park ‘somewhere else’ and I was gravely mistaken if I thought this was a good place to park. Chalking it up to ordinary 4.5 year old obstreperousness, I ignored him and parked in a perfectly fine spot where I have parked before a million times before you were even born, kid and we went into the mall to do mall things like stare at toys we’ll never buy, run headlong into old ladies and shellshock the new mothers wheeling huge strollers. I also tried to buy a new travel mug but failed. Incidentally, the mugs that are $19.99 at Chapters only cost $9.99 at Winners, which is just upstairs. However, the lineup at Winners was prohibitively long so I am still travel-mug-less, which is probably for the best given that I would have just left it in the car to be stolen. Foreshadowing!
Several hours later we returned to our car to find that someone had broken the rear driver-side triangle window, you know, the one behind the proper window, unlocked the two driver-side doors, and then — left. I guess. They didn’t vacuum, they didn’t straighten up, they didn’t take the container of crackers on the front seat or my water bottle. They didn’t take the car insurance or pop the trunk to find the AXE (weapon, not body spray) (but aren’t they the same thing?) we keep back there. They just shattered the window, made a big fucking mess, and moved on.
Note to the non-stealers: I know that you’re probably junkies and you’re not thinking clearly but would it be too much to ask to take a quick peek in the window you’re smashing to see if there are things that look stealable? I don’t have a CD player or even a tape deck and I know there wasn’t so much as a penny in the cup holder. It’s just so .. pointless to shatter a window, especially one over a child’s carseat, not that you should care more about my car because kids ride in it otherwise I’d have one of those stupid baby on board signs, but really. You have so much to do in your junkie day that you can’t take two seconds and look before you smash? Damn.
Amusing though it was to stand there with two confused children, staring at the pile of shattered glass around and within my filthy car, I decided to go back inside and find a security guard. Mostly because I assumed a mall security guard would have a broom and could help me get the glass out of the car seat where my kid was going to have to sit if I was going to take him home and believe me, if I could have left him at the mall, I would have. It was late, past naptime, and I have a sinus cold that makes my head really hurt a lot, like, so much that the Leapfrog toys at ToysRUs have all been disabled by my pain-induced laser-vision.
I just wanted to go home but the security guard came upstairs with us on his bicycle and filed a report in a little book, all of which was good, I guess, but I read the disclaimer on the wall where ‘the mall isn’t responsible for damage,’ and I have car insurance and can I just get someone to clean this up so I can go? Turns out no. He very kindly brushed out as much glass as he could from the car using his gloved hand, but there was no little vacuum in his saddle bag so I put a towel in the car seat and duct-taped a piece of paper I found in the trunk over the hole and we drove home.
There is a bright side. I mean, other than Trombone’s declared bright side, which was “Good thing the bad guy didn’t break ALL the windows!” The bright side is, now I get to go to Crystal Glass again, where I had my windshield replaced several years ago and where the fantastic Randy vacuumed my car. And then, tomorrow, there’s going to be a torrential wind and rain storm, which is basically mother nature’s version of a car wash!
The lesson I’m taking from this: if you’re lazy enough, eventually, things will work out in your favour.