Location: marengo, il, United States

Sunday, November 28, 2004

One of Those Mysteries

Some folk keep spotless vehicles. You might never catch them in the act of working on their favorite transport, but they manage somehow without you or I seeming to notice the effort. But I admit that I do notice, and I think about it. It’s hard for me to not picture them sneaking out of the house at odd hours to wash off a tiny splatter of mud, or spend some secret times getting bug parts off of the headlights and windshield.

I envision a neighbor of mine carrying a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, contentedly slopping sudsy water on one side of his car while it sits shining in the moonlight, parked in his driveway at midnight. He whistles a tune noiselessly while he washes away the filth and grime as the rest of us sleep, unknowing of his nocturnal labor. And then before a rooster can stir, he has effortlessly dried and polished each surface, leaving the car in perfect condition.

While we slumber, the last traces of water disappear from his driveway as the sun comes up. It rises above the roofs of houses by the time the rest of us finally emerge from our collective front doors to greet the day, and while clueless eyes fall upon his gleaming car that sits in the dry driveway, only mine seem to squint in suspicion.

“How does he manage that?”

But I know better than to ask. He hails from England, this neighbor of mine, and in all likelihood will just shrug his shoulders in an off-handed manner, and then swear he never drove the darn thing, or that it came like that from the factory.

Now look at that rusty old van I drive, and you would think I might be jealous. But that is not the case at all. Just because I stand over here in my yard and admire his car? Just because I sometimes get up at four in the morning and run out and polish up the mirror on my vehicle that’s held in place with strapping tape? Taking a spray bottle of Windex and a handful of paper towels out there under the cover of darkness makes you think that?

Friend, I am obliged to shake my head and laugh if that is what you are thinking. Why, I was already this obsessed before the bloke moved in, I can tell you that with an absolute certainty. But I remain mystified as to how easy he makes the chore look.

(You can join with me as I take my daily look at what he has parked in his driveway by clicking on this site below)


Blogger Gone Away said...

Of course, what Harry doesn't mention is that, as a result of my nightly toil, I have to sit around the house all day, absolutely exhausted and trying to recover enough energy for the fast-approaching evening, while he's out there in that old truck, going grocery shopping, taking the kids on a fishing expedition, moving some furniture for a friend and clocking up the mileage...

9:25 AM  
Blogger The Bubaker said...

As the guy who built the chassis for the car on the driveway next door, I must say how flattered I feel by your latest post. I really enjoy reading your blog Mr Way (If I may call you that) and I do feel that the van on your driveway is a lovely machine, an American classic maybe? My Dad speaks highly of you and I must say I'm very pleased to make your blog-acquaintance. I look forward to seeing what that van can do...
The Bubaker
(AKA Mad of MadTV)

8:32 AM  

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