Tuesday, July 12, 2005


My parents are attending a conference in New Zealand, and while they're away I'm looking after my mother's car. Fortunately for me my mother's car, which is mainly used for trips to supermarket and ferrying her grandchildren around, in a turbo-charged '99 Subaru WRX.

You don't so much drive a WRX as hang on to the steering wheel while it tries to launch itself into orbit. It takes a great deal of care to keep it under the speed limit, and even moderate pressure to the accelerator causes the turbo-charger to kick in with an enthusiastic "WheeeeeEEEEEEEEE!"... which is also the sound you make as it happens. It's great to drive, largely because if you do something stupid in it, all it takes is a little push with your right foot, and suddenly any unpleasantness is left several hundred metres behind you for other drivers to deal with. It's very liberating.

Sadly for this particular WRX, it's owned by my parents, who are pigs. I love them and all, but I have to be honest. When they handed it over the outside of the car was so dirty that there were actual stalactites of mud encrusted around the wheel arches, and even though I washed it last night, it needs to be washed again tonight to remove the dirt which loosened up and leached out of the joins and crevices in the first wash. Furthermore, cleaning it only reveals all the scratches and dints inflicted upon it, where my mother backed it into the trailer, or my sister's large, brainless dog head-butted it, or her kids opened the doors into the wall of the garage.

Inside the car the picture is even worse. Remnants of my dad's extra-strong mints lodged in the folds of the gearstick's leather boot, dirty teaspoons in the ashtray, receipts for groceries they bought two years ago on the floor, and a thick layer of dust on every horizontal surface save the seats... which are dotted with bits of chocolate and dried fruit juice that the grandchildren have ground into the upholstery.

Of course the only person properly appalled by this clear case of WRXual Abuse is yours truly, so I'm the one who has to clean it. It's disgusting, but when push comes to shove I don't really mind doing it. Blood is thicker than water, after all, even when that water consists of the hot tears of shame I shed for the suffering of a fine automobile. And a little bit of cleaning is a small price to pay for the opportunity to go "WheeeeeEEEEEEEEE!"


Blogger ntk said...

"WRXual Abuse"

you're a funny man...

3:14 PM  

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