Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Coat Hanger as Windshield Ice Scraper

The first frost is upon us, killing our impatiens and sending our manicured lawns to the colorist, putting platinum frosted highlights and tips on the green locks of grass.

All week long I rush out the door, thinking that with a turn of the key in the ignition I will be driving to work, simple, just as I've done for the last six months or so.

But instead I am stopped in my tracks. My car is frozen over, a thin layer of ice covering the windshield.

Fuck. Ice. Need ice scraper, my brain says. There is none in the house. It's buried in my car somewhere. In the car I should have cleaned out a while ago. I crank the defrost up to 11 and open up the floodgates of heat. I call for aid in the form of windshield wipers now flipped to their fastest setting, in hopes the friction will slowly dislodge tiny bits of ice incrementally with every swoosh-swoosh back and forth.

And while this is going on I am climbing throughout my car. Moving things around frantically. Pushing bags and boxes around. Dislodging half-empty (or is it half full?) bottles of water long forgotten under passenger seats, a place of hiding they rolled to, one slam-on-the-brakes back during who-knows-when in the past.

If there is an ice scraper in my car, I ain't finding it. A harried look at the windshield reveals nearly the same unforgiving sheet of ice that was there before my frantic search for the ice scraper in a haystack.

Now I am in MacGyver mode. What in my car could feasibly suffice as an ice scraper in a jam like this?

Answer: Plastic shirt hanger from Old Navy.

I'm trying all sorts of angles and eventually have the right tilt going to both reach and scrape all the icy bits off my windshield with my Old Navy hanger, and I'm off to work.

The whole (long) drive that is my commute, I create a to-do list so this doesn't happen tomorrow. I can:

-clean out my car and unearth the one or more ice scrapers buried within. I think of what's in my car, what to do with it, how it should be kept clean anyway (duh) and how long this cleaning process will take.
-go to the store and buy an ice scraper and keep it in an accessible spot. Can keep it right in the passenger door slot/cupholder/catch-all thingy. Can go buy it on my lunch break, et cetera.

Quite simple really. Pleased I have come up with suitable solutions to this problem, I arrive at work and go about my day. Approximately 20 hours later, the alarm clock goes off and I rush around and head out the door and see:

Of course. My iced-over car.

Good job, asshole. What did you think? It was going to get warmer around here and you'd never have ice on your car again?

You are really dumb, for real.

For the second day in a row I was scraping ice off my car with a plastic clothes hanger from Old Navy. For Chrissakes. Cursing my stupidity, procrastination, forgetfullness, life, whatever. It was part "d'oh!" and part "c'est la vie" my attitude as I drove off again (this time I also forgot my gloves and my hands were cold.)

I started to think, maybe I don't need an ice scraper. Maybe me and my Old Navy clothes hanger could get through the winter. And then I had the audacity to think, thank goodness my car is filled with random crap, because then I might not have even had a clothes hanger to scrape the ice off.

And yet, after I drove off disgusted that I had not managed to fix my ice scraper situation, I realized I had also managed to leave my cell phone upstairs. I had to turn around and thought of how I didn't want to live life feeling rushed and ill-equipped. It was a moment where I longed for a place for everything, everything in its place, oh how simple life would be then, a life free of iced-over windshields and extraneous trips home for things you've forgotten.

My mind thought of all the things out of place around my home, and how when I got back there to retrieve my cell phone I could pick up the thing on the landing or on the dresser and stick it upstairs in my bedroom where it belonged. Hey it would be a start: grab two out of place things on your way to find the cell phone and be two things closer to a more organized life.

However by the time I got to the front door, I realized it was locked, I went back to get my housekeys from my car's ignition, and in my frustration stomped upstairs in a tizzy, found my cellphone and all without putting anything in my path in its rightful place upstairs. I drove off a second time and then proceeded to curse myself after realizing I had forgotten my two items to pick up. And now I was wondering if I needed to start drinking coffee as soon as possible after waking up instead of just in the car ride to work.

Maybe that is the key to everything, caffeine stimulation.

So here I am, it is 7:50 p.m., and I am about to head out the door again for my evening affairs, and I have yet to either:
-clean out my car and find last year's ice scrapers.
-buy an ice scraper.

So invariably I will be met with this same problem tomorrow. Unless I manage to wake up early, saunter out to my car and turn it on to let it defrost while I go about my other morning readiness rituals.

But if not, and I forget, I guess there is still the clothes hanger. Or, it could happen: an early-November heat wave.

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