Thursday, July 25, 2013

Edith Bunker Is My Soul Sister

No sooner had the little Honda motor bike been loaded in my Highlander, when I was overtaken by fumes coming from the bike's engine. The smell was so strong, it would be like transporting an oil refinery in my vehicle. I could barely breathe. Although it was hot as blazes, I rolled down all of the windows, and turned on the air-conditioning full blast. I was beginning to question my own sanity at this point. Hauling this load of toxic fumes in my car could not be good for me or my lungs. My head began to hurt. Why had I agreed to this???

This would be another of my shining moments, another jewel in my crown that would provide ammo for a husband who likes to tease me about being like Edith Bunker. I admit that I can be gullible, and I seriously ask questions that make him ask me, "REALLY?" But I think one of my bigger faults is not asking ENOUGH of the RIGHT questions. I could save myself a lot of heart ache and misery by asking more questions.                                                                                                           The things a mother will do for a son. My oldest child is a bargain shopper. He is constantly scanning Craigslist and the classifieds for killer deals. Occasionally, I am lured into helping him obtain these items because our home is in the northern end of the state and his is in the southern end. A good deal is a good deal, if logistics can be managed.

Dylan had purchased this motor bike. A miniature Honda thing, a Honda 50, I believe. My son is over six feet tall. After teasing him about looking like a clown in the circus if he were to ride that thing, and questioning his sanity, I finally agreed that I would drive out into the middle of nowhere (Tooele, Utah) to pick up his latest toy. After I drove back out onto the freeway, I knew I needed some advice.

Thank heavens for cell phones. I asked my husband what he would recommend to reduce the strong smell in my car.  

"You need to seal off the engine. Stop at a grocery store and buy some Cling-Free." How strange, I thought.  Cling-Free?  Who would've thought? Wrapping the engine in fabric softener sheets just might make the car smell better, too!

Not one to question, just one of my many shortcomings, I made a bee-line for the nearest store. They didn't sell Cling-Free. I went to another store. They didn't sell Cling-Free. Maybe Cling-Free was a thing of the past. Being a resourceful woman, I determined that any fabric softener sheet would probably work, and being a thrifty woman, I bought the generic brand of sheets. I wondered how in the world I would be able to make them "stick" to the engine.  So I also bought some garbage bags (how clever, maybe it would hold the nasty stink in, too) AND some tape to wrap everything around the reeking engine, and some aspirin for my pounding head.

Ha! It kind of helped. It was definitely better; that's for sure. I drove for the next three hours with that foul-smelling motor bike in the back of my SUV, wishing I hadn't ever agreed to take it back to the big boy. There was a battle of odors going on in the back of my vehicle, but thankfully, I was catching nice wafts of fabric softener in between the assaults of gasoline and oil odors.

My husband called later that evening to see how things had gone. "I was so grateful for your suggestion.  At first, I wasn't sure about the fabric softener sheets, but by wrapping them in garbage bags, it lessened the smell considerably."

"Fabric softener sheets?" he questioned. "Why did you buy THOSE?"

"Didn't you say to get Cling-Free?"  He was dumbfounded.  

"Yeah. Cling-Free. You know the plastic wrap you put on leftovers?  THAT Cling-Free!  That's what I meant."

"OHHHHHH.  CLING WRAP!!!"  I laughed. "Why didn't you say so? That would've worked really well, I bet!"  

He continued to tease me about my dorky tendencies. I'm his Edith Bunker, he says. Well, I think he's my Archie. As I recall, Archie had some confusion with certain vocabulary, too. Being too specific in word usage with a word geek can backfire. We assume you know your stuff, the more specific you are. I know exactly what Cling-Free is. I also know what Cling Wrap is. It is just unfortunate I did not clarify our terminology before taking that fateful three hour ride which may or may not have killed off some of my much-needed brain cells. This Edith may need them in the future to decipher more advice from my dear Archie. ;-)


  1. This gave me such a laugh...and hey it worked. Just think if you'd used cling wrap, you wouldn't have had that fresh laundered scent permeating the air and might have made for a dull ride and a not so lively conversation about such ride after arriving home!

  2. Susan, I just wish I could remember HALF of these incidents. You're right, this story is MUCH better WITH the miscommunication!


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