July 27, 2012

A plastic shopping bag tried to kill Lady Laura and me. This is a true story.

Yesterday I was driving us into town when all of the sudden something threw itself at the car. We were both very startled. I, who once stared down an irate gorilla, even jumped a bit. Well, I should say I was ďstartledĒ; Lady Laura more or less threw a conniption fit in the passenger seat and came very close to sucking up all the oxygen in the car with her sharp intake of breath. It took us only a second to realize that the thing that had thrown itself at the car was a plastic shopping bag.

It took another second to realize it was stuck on the passenger side mirror and flailing loudly and desperately against her side of the car. Obviously, this bag was out to get us. Why would a plastic bag be out to get us? Probably because of me. Iíve made a lot of strange enemies in my day and I suspect the bag was sent by Steven Spielberg as a vague and almost indecipherable warning to stop writing about how much I hate aliens and dinosaurs and how I suspect heís out to get me.

Well, youíre going to have to try harder than that Mr. Spielberg, Iím on to your sick games and if itís a war of ridiculous and completely nonsensical pranks you want, well buckle up bubba because I will own you when this is over!

Anyway, Laura just reached out to push the bag off the side mirror, which is pretty brave when you think about it. The bag was immediately sucked under the car and got stuck on the tailpipe. Plastic bag on a hot tailpipe. Yep. It immediately melted into a hot globby mess and started to burn. Well, not exactly burn. It just sat there and got gooey. When we stopped at a red light the smell of hot, melted plastic hit us. And it stank!

We did our shopping and then went home - stinking all the way. I figured I would let it cool overnight and then break it off the tailpipe in the morning. The first part of my master plan went well - it cooled overnight. But when I went to break it off today I found that I was just a tad too round to fit under the car far enough to reach the offending glob.

I have a nephew, David, who is a retired mechanic and lives just around the corner so I took the car to his house and told him of my dilemma. He, being a skinny fellow, slid under the car, mumbled something and then scooted back out from under the car. "I ain't touching that thing! It's hotter than h***!" He then told me there was no danger of it catching fire and to just leave it alone - it will eventually melt to a point where it would just fall off.

So I drove around for a while hoping that the stinky thing would do just that. But that glob just hung on like it was installed at the factory. I drove around for a while until I could no longer smell the stinky thing and went home.

Tonight we had a bad storm and the power in our neighborhood went out. Lady Laura and I decided to go out for supper. While we were getting into the car, Wendy, our neighbor, came outside to talk to us. We invited her to come along and she agreed. We had a good meal at a Chinese restaurant and then went out to the car to go home. As we were getting into the car I thought I could smell that stinky plastic so I told Wendy what had happened. She said that she thought she was smelling a cheap vanilla candle. Nope. Just my stinky car.

We laughed about it later but I certainly have a new fear-based respect for plastic shopping bags. Which is probably a pretty good lesson about life. Or not.