Car food — don’t even ask

TV Hagenah

I had someone offer me a cantaloupe the other day and I had to refuse to take it. Now, let me explain that I love cantaloupe, but I had reached my limit of car food.
Car food is any food left inside the car long enough to become a high school science experiment.

You see, generally speaking, if I accept food and put it in my car, I forget about it. I don’t know why that is, but usually it stays there, behind the front seat and probably under a winter coat gaining a little fur, and as wine merchants say, aging gracefully. (Ok, Ok, not so gracefully!) It stays there until, well, a sort of odor arises from inside my car that some claim is powerful enough to cause seismic disorders.

I, on the other hand, contend that there is almost an aromatic art form to correctly combining the smells of two-week-old rutabaga, four-day-old cottage cheese, and an open bowl of six-month-old gazpacho inside a two-door vehicle.

I should point out that because of a misspent youth, my nose has been broken a number of times, and I don’t smell well, (and after I have been sitting in my car for a while, I’m told I don’t smell good either) so I don’t notice the odors emanating from my vehicle.

I do, however, notice subtle clues that do occasionally come up about such smells. For instance, the other day I was driving past the correctional facility in Santa Rosa when I was flagged down by a guy in orange coveralls holding what appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun and apparently asking for a ride. He opened the door of my car when I stopped, then grabbed his nose and ran back towards the prison shouting something to the effect that he’d rather serve another seven years in solitary confinement.

It has gotten to the point that my wife doesn’t like me parking in front of our own house because she claims the trees in our front yard begin to wilt when I do. So I was somewhat surprised when our neighbor actually encouraged me to park near his house. He doesn’t have trees, and I thought that was the reason for the invitation until I learned that he wanted to repaint his house. It seems he felt that the old paint might peel if I parked closely enough.

On the positive side, state patrol officers no longer pull me over and come up to the window to give me a ticket (something about not being issued toxic waste suits). I have also been contacted by the Guiness Book of World Records people for having the only car in known history to be issued a ticket for food poisoning. (Something about a dog that was chasing my car and had the bad luck to catch it.)

Oh yeah, prison officials tell me I am entitled to a reward for the escapee who turned himself in, but I heard a rumor they may want to pay me in produce from the prison garden so I’ve been keeping a low profile.