The Things You Can’t See

On Easter Sunday, I was headed back to Georgia with Chase, George and a Georgia Tech passenger who I was dropping off at his college dorm in downtown Atlanta. Typically the traffic on the interstate is not heavy for the majority of the trip; however it seemed that everyone was headed in the same direction. Coupled with the fact that the never-ending roadwork had closed down one lane, I made a last minute decision to keep the two dogs in my car for the entire trip instead of making a quick detour to my house.

I pulled away from the Georgia Tech campus shortly after 8PM and decided to avoid Interstate 75 as there were several accidents being cleared in two lanes and traffic. The familiar lights of The Varsity beckoned to me as I skillfully headed into downtown Atlanta with the intention of taking a “short-cut” to Interstate 20. It was getting dark quickly and I hoped Chase and George were getting along in the back seat. I could hear some commotion and suddenly Chase leaped into the front passenger seat right around the same time I started to smell something foul. “Perfect”, I thought.” George must have thrown up back there.” I silently cursed my mother for feeding my dogs Easter ham and knew that I would need to clean up my car. I do not have the greatest sense of smell but as the scent permeated the interior of the car, began to wonder if there was something more horrific back there. It was too dark to make a determination but George was clearly pressed against the far side of the car. I looked around for a place to pull over, but I could see no safe options. I opened the sunroof and all of the windows and drove home in record time.

I released the hounds who headed for the back yard and I retrieved a flashlight to assess the damage. I prayed for puke. It was worse than I thought. I backed away from the chocolate-colored poo prints that decorated the back seat like a dance step card. I went inside the house, yelling for the Englishman, and changed out of my white pants and high heeled sandals.

Floodlights in the driveway highlighted the true task ahead. I discovered quickly that I couldn’t just pick it up with doggy bags. The mess was now streaked in smears, blobs and other shapes. My back seat was now a canvas for a macabre finger-painted Pollock masterpiece. Our industrial carpet cleaner didn’t have attachments for this job and it was too big to even attempt to push into the car. I pulled out my secret weapon: the wet/dry shop vacuum. I figured the problem was both wet and dry at this point. With no attachments other than the hose, I went in with the proper personal protective equipment: latex gloves and safety glasses. I found myself working with a steady rhythm: throw some soapy water down, and then suck it up with the hose. That shop vac was the best thing I ever purchased. The Englishman followed up with a layer of “Tuff Stuff”. A little bit of air freshener and the car looked untouched. We left all the windows open and called it a night. I grabbed George and carried him inside for his Easter bath.

I waited months before mentioning the unfortunate Easter Event because the only friend I did tell refused to ride in my car for a very long time. I have more than one vehicle but somehow she just “knew” which one had festered with feces. For those that are contemplating buying a used car, keep in mind that a CarFax won’t reveal everything. There are some “accidents” you will just never know.

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