2018-08-15 / Here's the Scoop

Keeping it clean

This isn’t something I ever thought I’d say, but I kind of like vacuuming. I know, many people think that vacuuming sucks — and it does. But it’s supposed to suck if you want good results.

Even weirder, I’ve become especially fond of pulling out the Shop Vac and sprucing up our vehicles. There’s something satisfying about driving around in a clean car.

Or, maybe it’s the fact that I have a “hobby” — some would say an obsession — of glancing into parked vehicles to determine the owner’s dedication to neatness. I don’t judge, though. OK, maybe I do — but mostly if I see overflowing ashtrays and empty cigarette cartons obstructing the driver’s visibility — another hazard of smoking.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea that I’m some sort of “neatnik” who demands that riders in my car take off their shoes before entering, that’s not the case. Believe me, my car gets plenty dirty — inside and out. It’s just that I can only stand the mess for so long. Thus, my motivation to tidy up our cars over the weekend.

This won't last...

The really odd thing is that whenever I finish cleaning my car, I always get a very strong urge to eat in the vehicle. That’s never a good thing. When it comes to having coffee while driving, I might as well just pour the cup down the front of my shirt — and onto my pants, for good measure. Drinking and caffeinating is definitely dangerous for my wardrobe.

My love for takeout from Five Guys Burgers and Fries periodically gets some press in this space. Well deserved, I must add. That being written, me cruising along with a sack of fries and a double-cheeseburger on the passenger’s seat, with a ketchup container propped on the console, is not really a recipe for neatness. Because it’s important to consider driving safety first, let’s just say that not every morsel ends up in my mouth — it’s a similar scene to the coffee-in-car experience — only greasier. Still, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice.

Good to the last...oops

Of course, while a fair amount of “road food” is uncannily attracted to my clothing, there are always a fair amount of crumbs, ketchup and a scattering of French fries that end up littering the car’s interior. This occurs no matter how carefully I attempt to inhale every delicious (and health-conscious) bite. Hey, it’s not like there’s a Five Guys right down the block – it’s an occasional splurge. Besides, I recently saw an article that detailed how eating too much healthy food can be a bad thing. The people behind this research could have saved lots of time and money if only they had consulted me — I figured out that conclusion burgers ago!

Now that I think about it, wolfing down a Five Guys meal is similar to vacuuming. Except it doesn’t suck! Since we’re back on this topic, I have to admit that right after cleaning my office, I get a similar urge to have lunch at my desk. Although there’s no oncoming traffic to keep track of, I still find it nearly impossible to not litter the area with a few food scraps.

I guess the bottom line is whenever I get the urge to vacuum, I’ll be feeling crummy soon afterwards.

— Brian Sweeney

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