Tuesday, June 15, 2004

You know you've been working when you look inside your Kleenex and find dirty mucous. This time it was the dust and grime that flew up in the air as I cleaned out the garage last night.

I remember our garage when we first moved into the house. It smelled like fresh-cut lumber. It smelled new. It doesn't smell new anymore. Too much dirt, motor oil, gasoline, lawn chemicals, spilt milk from the recycling bin and general ooze has collected on, and become one with, the concrete. These days the garage sometime smells like garbage and rotten lawn clippings and the recent high humidity doesn't help matters.

Actually, it's not that bad. It's pretty typical, if not a bit cleaner than the average garage in our neighborhood. However this is not the first time I noticed that our garage's scent was changing for the worse. About three years ago I went to a local convenience store to fill-up our old Jetta. When I went in to pay the woman behind the counter recognized me as a regular customer. "Could you drive my mother home?" she asked. I remember her mother's half-hearted smile as I contemplated the question. I thought it was a strange request to make of a stranger, but I agreed to drive the lady home.

Turns out the Jetta had been sitting in the garage along with some rather smelly garbage that day. The convenience store mother got into my car and I could tell, by the way she looked like she was choking back vomit, she noticed that my car didn't smell very good. It was a cold day and she asked if she could crack the window. This woman didn't speak much English so she didn't say much to me. She just tilted her head toward the little quarter inch crack she made. It reminded me of films I've seen of cattle packed in rail cars struggling for breath.

She seemed very relieved when I dropped her off. I'm pretty sure she still thinks I live in complete filth.

I don't go to her store anymore.

The garage is cleaner now. I even caught a hint of that "new garage" smell as I swept away the dirt and loaded bags full of trash. One thing I couldn't throw away was our old "For Sale By Owner" sign. In fact, I put in the front yard for awhile. In the course of about an hour four cars slowed down to look at our home. A neighbor asked why we were leaving and a nosy lady I didn't recognize asked me how much we wanted for the house. I truly wanted to screw with the nosy lady. Are you in the market for a new home? We're asking 1.6 million because of all the fantastic upgrades inside. Is that within the range you had in mind? What's your name? How about your home number? How much is your current home worth? Some of the more unusual amenities in the house aren't conducive to small children or pets. Is that a problem? What were you planning for a down payment? I can call you with more details.

Deb filled out her police report yesterday. She was in an auto accident yesterday. A 70-year-old lady in a Cadillac scraped the tail end of our Mazda. It was entirely Cadillac lady's fault. Deb made that very clear in the diagram she drew of the accident. I won't write anymore about it. I'm sure Deb will want to mention it in her blog.

I bet the Cadillac lady's garage smells awful.

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