My Car’s So Dirty That…

It’s almost impossible to be car proud in Pinamar.

Dirt, sand, pine needles and heaps of yellow pollen. My car has it all, inside and out, in this beach town in Argentina. The weekend comes and I think, time to wash the car. The weekend goes and I think, next weekend.

I once took it to the wash and forgot to fetch it. When I finally brought it back sparklingly shiny, the workmen at the house applauded. “Bravo. We thought you’d never clean it.”

Well, to my satisfaction a friend in a similar situation – he surfs and has kids – outdid me.

“That’s nothing,” he said about my vehicle. “My car is so dirty that I have to dig the pedals out of the sand before I can drive.”

His wife looked at me solemnly and said, “It’s true.”

He held the title until we had a guest. We were driving around town and something crawled over my foot.

“What was that?” My wife looked at me and said, “That better not be.”

But it was. A cockroach.

We stopped. She got out with the kids and left me to it. “Get rid of that thing.”

I hunted it down through the litter of Cheerios, French fries, M&Ms and bits of McDonald’s burgers and lettuce and sesame-seed buns on the floor, between the seats and underneath the kids’ car seats. It takes some doing to stab a cockroach with a ballpoint pen. But I did it and flicked the carcass out the window, sat back and called up my friend. “You’ll never believe this, but…”

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