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June 4th, 2002

Clean Car Syndrome

Pingers, I come to you to confess something: I have clean car syndrome.

I can’t help it. I’ve paid a good amount of money for my car. Even when I didn’t pay a good amount of money for my car, I’ve felt this. I have this need to keep my car clean. Inside and out.

The moment I see a speck of tree sap on it, I try to get it off. It might damage the paint, you know. The minute it starts raining, I cringe, thinking of all those darned water spots that’ll be all over the place. And if birds are out, I like to be far away from trees.

It’s not something I’ve been able to help, in part because I haven’t had a garage for my car in many, many years. While I don’t obsess over it, it’s something I think about.

Likewise, I like a spic-and-span interior. No large meteorites on the floors, no caked-on dust on the dashboard, and no sticky soda remains anywhere.

I just like things to be nice and neat. I don’t yet go crazy over it… but, is that too much to ask?

Posted in Cars

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 9:21:46 am
I know you're a neat-freak when it comes to the inside of cars -- you wrote about it somewhere -- and just the other day I was looking at all the crap that had accumulated in my back seat and thought, "You know, Paul would hate this..."

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 10:42:46 am
Another good reason to keep your car clean - nothing in it worth stealing. My car has been broken into twice in my driveway, nothing was taken either time becasue the only thing I leave in my car is a CD Wallet with 20 CD's - however they are all copies (take that RIAA) and they can't even be pawned - so they are worthless to a thief.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 11:07:00 am
Your car's been broken into twice in our neighborhood? Mine was egged, but it's never been touched otherwise...

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 11:46:43 am
Yep - the second time was the inspiration for neighborcam ( )

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 12:45:16 pm
I am not a clean freak, but do like to keep my car clean. I just washed it and cleaned off the dash an hour ago. I try and wash it when it starts to get crapped on, or overall dirty. As for the inside, it is kept vaccumed and little if any loose items are stored in the passenger area.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 1:20:39 pm
I don't leave a lot of crap in my car, so it's clean in that respect. However, I don't wash/vacuum it very often because hardly anyone but me ever rides in it.

FROM: Tina
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 1:43:29 pm
Do you think that the amount of effort made in attempting to keep one's car clean is in direct proportion to how much one paid for said car?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 2:54:03 pm
I thought that too, Tina, but I did this even with my first car - which was pretty cheap.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Tuesday June 4, 2002 -- 9:17:46 pm
When my car was "new to me" (only a few years old when I bought it at graduation) I used to wash it fairly regularly, and the dash was so clean and shiny (from Simple Green and Armor All and lots of hard work) you could almost eat off of it. Now that it's getting closer to 20 years old, it drives around with no hubcaps, the paint is in such a state that a good 15% of the car isn't covered (gotta love GM quality paint; started peeling real bad a few years after I got it), and it's rusting in a few spots (amazing considering it's age that it only has spots and not holes through everything). All-in-all, washing is more a yearly rather than weekly chore. Yet I still try to keep the car's interior neat. It's just that it isn't cleansed to the point of dust-free, sap free, or bird crap free any longer except for that once in a blue moon deal.

Maybe I'll take it to a car wash soon. :-\ You had to go and point this out Paul, I feel so... so... so...


Well, at least my car does. :-D

FROM: Elizabeth [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday June 5, 2002 -- 3:05:17 pm
In an effort to relate everything I write on the Ping to the fact that I am leaving for Africa in 18 days, I present you with my transportation for the next two years: the bush taxi.

Not very neat, or clean.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday June 5, 2002 -- 4:26:21 pm
Elizabeth -- Will you still be able to get online and remain part of the Ping community, or should we set up a shrine in your absence?

Sounds like it'll be an awesome experience, though...

FROM: Elizabeth [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday June 5, 2002 -- 11:25:12 pm
Maybe we could just set up some sort of bot that would post in place of me. Sample randomized posts:
"That's offensive!"
"Did you know I'm going to Africa?"
"I fully endorse this event or product."

But seriously, during training I won't have internet access but when I get to my job site I'll most likely be able to LDP (long-distance Ping). So look for me in September, or whenever I decide to cut out early because I was attacked by a giant spider or something.

Anyone interested in hearing what I'm up to on location can check out the yahoo group I made:

FROM: King Random
DATE: Saturday June 15, 2002 -- 10:07:08 pm
Odd that I read this article just now. I just spent the last 2 and a half hours cleaning my dads car for fathers day. I now appreciate the true meaning of a clean car. You see, my dad eats a bagel on the way to work, every single day. And it is always a sessame seed bagel. My dad had 2 years worth of sessame seeds on the floor and seats of his car. That, and the windows and bird droppings, and the dead bumblebee in the very back, took a long time to clean up. But now I am done, and it looks a lot better, and I hope he even notices.

FROM: Cathy
DATE: Wednesday September 18, 2002 -- 12:25:18 pm
Neighborcam- what system do you use, how well does it work, where'd you get it and how much did it cost? I want to set one up too. Thanks-

FROM: Mercury Capri gurl
DATE: Monday November 1, 2004 -- 7:07:59 pm
I just bought a used Mercury Capri a couple of weeks ago and though it is '93 model, it is amazingly very shiny on the exterior part of the car. I read somewhere that it's cheaper and more efficient to out a dryer sheet (eg; Bounce) under your seat rather than a car freshener, is this true? I'm gonna try it but I'm not too sure about if it's going to work or not. Thanks guys!

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday November 3, 2004 -- 4:15:47 pm
I recognize that bush taxi to be none other than the famous Peugeot 504 estate wagon. Last I heard, they're still made in Africa--but I haven't checked in a while. They're indestructible. And they say French cars suck. Tell that to those guys sitting on the car who have beat probably 500,000 miles out of it.

What is this then?

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