My Car Smells Like Pee and Other Problems I'm Facing

It's been a while since I've written one of these, a fact that my fourteen-year-old son reminds me of quite often. I have no reason for not writing other than I haven't made it a priority. But if I want to get back into the swing of things with this, then what better way to start than to complain?

I thought about choosing one topic to complain about, but if one complaint is good, then three or four or five must be great, right? So instead of complaining about one horrendous thing (like the current president), I decided to complain about a bunch of (admittedly unimportant) things.

First, let me deal with this clickbait title. It's true, my car smells like pee. It's mostly my own fault, but not how you think.

While on a little road trip my kids and I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. My daughter wanted hot cakes, and because I like a challenge I decided to let her pour syrup on her hot cakes even though we were eating in the car.

I walked her through the process - take the hot cakes lid off, give me the lid, be careful opening the syrup, just pour a little, give me the syrup cup when you're done with it, keep the plate level - and she nails it. She cuts the hot cakes, eats most of them, gives me the tray to polish off the last few bites, and I throw the garbage in the large McDonald's bag on the floor of my car.

An hour later my son says, "Why is there syrup on my arm?" After a short investigation during which I may or may not have peppered him with expletive-filled questions, we discovered that the syrup spilled from the bag, onto the floor of my car, onto his blanket, and eventually onto his arm.

A syrup puddle formed on the floor mat. No big deal. I can clean the floor mat. The next day I cleaned the floor mat, only to discover that the Nile River of Syrup had flowed onto the sidewall of the foot well. Despite my best efforts, and a luckily-not-toxic combination of Resolve, dish soap, and Windex, the syrup still smells. And the low-grade (sugar water?) syrup that McDonald's uses smells like pee. Anyone who didn't know this story would think that I was hiding a dirty diaper under my front seat.

I'm not.

The smell might be growing less intense each day, but I can't be sure because my nose has suddenly become conditioned to smell pee when I get into my car.

At least it's not summer.

Which brings me to my next problem.

Winter is coming. This is a problem for a million different reasons, which I wrote about a few years ago. But my current complaint relates to the most persistent winter challenge: dry hands.

I can already feel the familiar tightness in my skin, and raw soreness around my knuckles from the lack of moisture in the air. It's only going to get worse. I'll combat it with Eucerin, but if I miss a day I develop hands similar to 40-grit sandpaper.

This lifelong problem of mine has been compounded in recent years by my addiction to hand sanitizer. Door knobs, handrails, gas pump handles, and handshakes gross me out, so I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my car, and a bottle on my desk. I never pay attention to how much of the stuff I use until I feel the alcohol suck the moisture out of my skin with every pump. (Lightbulb: No wonder I get so dehydrated after a decent night at Brew Fest!)

Am I just supposed to ignore the disgusting array of germs attacking my hands just because it's winter? Not a chance. So I guess what I'm saying is that I'd rather have bloody, germ-free hands than germy, smooth hands. When I put it like that I'm not sure I'm making the right choice.

How much Diet Coke/ Diet Pepsi is permissible each day? If you knew someone who drank, say, a hundred ounces per day (Good lord that's almost a gallon!), would that be a problem?

Yes, I think so. But it's so good!

I could devote an entire blog to fountain Diet Coke from McDonald's. I don't mean an entire blog post, I mean an entire blog, with hundreds of posts. I won't, but I could. Especially if they've just changed the syrup. (I bet that doesn't smell like pee!)

I used to stop at McDonald's in the morning every once in a while to reward myself with a Diet Coke. And then I started doing it every Friday. And then Fridays and sometimes other days for a treat. Now it's every single day. Every single morning. The people in McDonald's know me. It's sad.

But that Diet Coke only lasts about an hour, maybe two. By mid-morning I'm ready for another drink, but Diet Coke doesn't taste as good in a can or a bottle, so I switch to Diet Pepsi. And then I challenge my liver and kidneys to see just how many artificial additives they can filter in a given day. Thus far they've been up to the challenge, but I sort of feel like I'm killing myself one aspartame molecule at a time.

To say nothing of what it's probably doing to my poor teeth. It's a little-known fact that the only time the Tooth Fairy cusses is when she laments my continuous destruction of the strong, white enamel that she blessed me with.

I should get that under control.

So those are the initial (admittedly first-world) problems that came to mind when I decided I needed to start complaining again.

Let me know if you have solutions.

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