Tom and I left for Washington, DC last Friday afternoon in the snow storm. A good friend of Tom’s was retiring and we were going to his party. We rented a small SUV that Enterprise bumped up to a mega bus-free of charge. At first Tom complained about driving a F@*#ing truck, but soon settled as the road conditions worsened.
Somewhere mid Pennsylvania we stopped for gas. While we got out of the car Tom shared his Uncle Paul’s remedy for dirty, icy windshields. Coca Cola. “Oh,” I said, casually thinking that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. First, because Tom and his Uncle Paul are from Georgia, what do they know about snow in the deep south and second, Yankees make wind shield wiper fluid that works amazingly well.
As I walked into the convenience store to use the bathroom, Tom yelled, “Get some Coke while you are in there.” Tom doesn’t drink Coke so I gathered he wanted me to buy the sugary drink for windshield purposes. “Are you serious?” I yelled back. Sternly, more sternly than is usual for Tom, he yelled back, “YES and get a big one.”
As I headed to the soda case I concerned myself with the definition of big. Was he planning to dump the Coke into the wiper reservoir or simply splash it on the windshield? I decided if it were the former I would put my foot down on his southern solution. Every Yankee worth her salt knows soda in the wiper washer system would gum up the works. But, if he felt better following Uncle Paul’s example and splashing Coca Cola on the window, I would keep my mouth shut. I selected what I thought was a middle of the road size bottle, too small to empty into the fluid keeper, but large enough for Tom to believe I was taking his and Uncle Paul’s sage advice seriously.
I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I paid for the Coke. Perhaps they didn’t make blue liquid in big bottles in Uncle Paul’s day. I climbed up into the passengers seat, jammed the Coke into the too small cup holder, and off we went.
About an hour later we ran out of wind shield wiper fluid.
“Where’s the Coke?” Tom asked.
Trying desperately to hide my grin, I un-wedged the bottle, “Here.”
“Open your window and throw it on the windshield.”
Silence. (I couldn’t speak.)
“Throw it on the windshield.”
Okay, he was serious. This man from Georgia; who I just bought an Icelandic temperature rated down coat because he is always freezing “up north”; who does’t know when you run out of wiper fluid you turn the wipers off so the road grime doesn’t smear into an opaque curtain across the windshield; who drove minimally in the snow before he met me with my 4 wheel drive CRV because he drove an adorable little convertible that couldn’t get out of the driveway in the rain, wanted me to stick my hand out the car window and throw Coke.
I instantly flashed to my childhood.
When my family took road trips we did not stop to pee, dad refused. Instead there was a handy dandy “pee pot”, aka mayonnaise jar, we used when nature called. On one particular trip I had to tee tee, that’s we called it. Mom climbed into the back seat, held the pee pot for me and I tinkled. After I filled the jar mom reached the bottle out of the front seat window and tossed the liquid. My pee aerodynamically found the first available opening, the back seat passenger window, where mom and I sat. We were covered in tee tee.
Dad, who was from Alabama, stopped the car.
So like my mother before me, I opened the window and threw Coke on the windshield. However I began laughing so hard it was difficult to do. I held really tight, calmed my self down and tossed. Boy Jov it worked. The 6 inch by 6 inch, upper right hand corner of the wind shied, where the coke hit at our high rate of speed, cleared. Unfortunately we still could not see the road in front of us.
I suggested we stop to get the blue stuff they sell up north for times such as these.
Tom agreed. Then took a sip of Coke.