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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Sam French, Special to tb-two*
Let’s face it. From time to time, everybody’s car gets flat-out disgusting. I’m no exception. Neither are you. You get used to it, your friends tolerate it, and your parents eventually give up. What happens when you have a date? What happens when you actually care about what someone thinks about it? In a perfect world, your date would smile, shrug and accept you along with all of your flaws (Lord knows she has some of her own). But this is the real world, and the fact is sometimes you have to clean your car.
Don’t panic. You can do it. I’m going to tell you how. My car was far worse than yours, and now it’s spotless. Sure, I had the aid of top-notch auto care enthusiast extraordinaire Mack Stubbins, while all you have is motivation and some elbow grease. Whatever. Stop making excuses. It’ll have to do.
The first step is to dump out all of your trash. Don’t be discouraged if your car is overflowing with junk. My car was full of, among other things, 19 pounds of trash, my lunch from the first day of school, half a baseball bat, four lightsabers (one blue, one purple, two green), 32 CDs, leftovers of a turkey sub from Jimmy John’s, a bow tie, a 35-pound bag of Purina Puppy Chow (I don’t have any puppies) and a copy of the Koran. Now, all that’s left in my car are the lightsabers.
Next, clean the interior. Spray a rag with cleaner and wipe down everything. Hit the dashboard, the center console, the cup holders, the inside of the door. Shake out the mats. If you’ve got time, vacuum. You’d be surprised at how many french fries can survive under them. If you’re like me, don’t worry so much about the back seats. There’s no way you get a date — and friends.
Now, take care of the exterior. Get some soap on the tires and let it soak while you wash the rest. Get some soapy water on top of the car and let it run down. Fact: Letting gravity do all your work doesn’t make you lazy, it makes you an innovator.
Rinse, then rinse again. When you’re done, bling the tires. Spray some Armor All on there. I’m not entirely sure why, but I know it makes my date more likely to find me charming.
BAM. Done. That’s it. I finished my car in less than 40 minutes. Wait. You hear that? That’s the sound of a girl changing a “maybe” to a “possibly.”
Sam French is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University. This story first appeared in 2009.
If you’re so excited to start cleaning your car that you don’t even have time to read what I wrote, here’s the condensed version without all those unnecessary paragraphs and sentences.
Keep all the loose change you find in one place (I ultimately had enough to buy at least a cheeseburger and two tacos).
If your date is really hot
Do it all. Dump the trash, wash the interior, vacuum the floors and seats, scrub the tires, wash and wax the car. Bling the tires.
Do most of it. Dump the trash, wipe down the front interior, vacuum the front seats, give your exterior a quick rinse.
If she asked you
Do as little as possible. Dump the trash, shake the mats (or not), put in an air freshener, hope she doesn’t reconsider.