Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Terror Wash

That time of year is coming-- my favorite time of year. The fall, before Michigan would turn to a frozen icicle of depression for 7 months and the blistery boredom of summer would come to an end. When I was a kid I loved it because it meant thinking about going back to school. I'm not sure I loved the idea of going back to the classroom as much as I loved the idea of change, and new winter clothes and having a purpose from day to day. But I also love the smell that's in the air and the anticipation of the holidays-- which I have always been a big fan of. Especially now that I don't get to really have them anymore. I love looking at all the autumn decor in the stores and at the years popular halloween costumes and the creepy knicknacks, though I was always fortunate enough to have amazing homemade costumes that weren't cheep and flimsy and although my only real adult experience with trick-or-treaters was disappointing and borderline annoying. Either way, I love the fall. I love Halloween. I love the ramp up for the holiday season... minus the last minute Christmas shoppers and I can't forget to add somewhere to the list the haunted house.

Some of the best years of my life were spent with the cinema crew caravaning from haunt to haunt in the late October months. Even years later when I lived near Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, the overthetop spectacle of it all didn't live up to the memories I had built of those years with those people... waiting to be scared to death on our nights off. It was good times. So why, you may ask, would the sight of my car covered in an explosion of bird crap and splattered bugs from the Mexican border remind me of those moments and of why I love the fall?

Well, it was actually Mike who came up with it. We had taken my car for a carwash and decided to bring the dogs along. Watching their reactions he said: "This must be like a haunted house to them. To be scared and excited at the same time." He was completely right and it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. As the high pressure water and soap banged against the windows both dogs would leap from driver's to passenger's sides and at the dashboard... barking like crazy-- in an absolute frenzy of nerves. But they weren't scared... not really. Infact, they both looked as if they were having the time of their lives with their tales tightly curled and pinging back and forth and their little faces beaming in between snarls and barks. Maybe its because for a moment they had permission to go completely crazy and let loose to be scared of what was going on while feeling completely safe the whole time. It reminded me of standing in a room with strobe lights blinking and masked chainsaw maniacs lumbering toward me while my brain struggled to make out the shapes of my friends and my sister who were all there and yelling and laughing.

I wonder if they will look back and think of the car wash as being one of the best moments of their lives. Probably not as long as dinner arrives on time with each new day. Either way, I can't wait until fall comes again. I missed it for so long in Florida. I've been waiting forever it seems.

And to all you damn birds: Stay the hell away from my car you little crapbags.

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