The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Poor sap who parks under a pine tree

I’m hoping no one recognized me, but I should have worn a bag over my head. I suspect a report may show up on the police blotter of some strange, bag lady climbing around on a car waving a bottle of something and scrubbing madly.
No one admitted recognizing me, but I got a lot of very slow drive-bys.
Then I drove off with a bottle of alcohol still on my hood. I think the fumes got to me.
It was the second — but not final — chapter in a really annoying story, and once again, I am destined to live as a learning tool for others. I saw the tree guys trimming the trees along the street where I work.
I had seen them there several other times. I gave it no more thought.
But this time, they were trimming the pine trees, not the palms.
The next day, I parked right underneath one of the newly trimmed pines, never thinking about the side effects of the freshly pruned flora.
When I returned to my car that afternoon, it smelled like Christmas and my car was thoroughly spattered, stem to stern, with a thousand drips of sap.
I raced home and turned to the Internet for help. Isopropyl alcohol will take it right off, the first 50 responses said.
They were all guilty of screaming optimism and the sin of omission. I rushed out to my driveway and began wiping madly.
Some of the sap may have gone, but great, dull streaks were left in its place. Response number 51, which I saw later, finally noted that the alcohol leaves streaks all over your paint. It turns out those are as hard to get rid of as the sap.
Determined to lose the sap and the streaks, I figured if I parked nearby the car wash, poured alcohol onto the multitude of remaining sticky spots and then raced over to get my car professionally scrubbed, I might win. I swear I poured alcohol on every sap droplet and smear I could find. But when all was said and done, dozens of sap spots remained. I tried not to cry in front of the car wash attendants. So now I need to find another two hours, head back to give my car another alcohol rub, then dash again to the car wash. I have to wear clothes that I can ruin with sap, so again I will look like I fell into a Goodwill box and fought my way out. It is taking a real toll on my glamorous reputation.
It is worthy of a Greek tragedy that I drove nothing but ugly bangers for the first 45 years of my driving career. Had they been dripped upon, I would have just shrugged and kept driving. But now, when I finally have a decent car I am actually trying to preserve, it rains sap.
Looking at it from a karmic view, I was either a logger in a past life, or I have decorated one too many live Christmas trees. I don’t think I’ll take any long walks in the woods for a while.