Body work for people, not cars

Southern Hospitality

I really like having a remote for my car, but it’s just so embarrassing when, instead of unlocking the door with the remote, I accidentally pop the trunk. Have you ever done that?

My policy in this situation is to nonchalantly pick up something – anything – from my trunk and examine it like I know exactly what I am doing. Then, when no one is watching (or even if they are), I gingerly place the item back in the trunk, punch the other remote button to unlock the car, and drive off.

A few days ago on a clear-blue-sky Saturday, I popped the trunk lid by mistake. So I walked back there to pretend I was looking for something … but nothing was there. This was because I had recently cleaned out and vacuumed my car. What an ordeal! And darned if I didn’t strain a muscle in my lower back.

Here’s how it happened. I cleaned out my trunk after a beach trip, laid all the junk on the sidewalk, and noticed the vast amount of sand that remained (no wonder they have beach erosion — the sand’s all in my trunk).

I realized I couldn’t reach the back of the trunk with the high-suction pump that had nearly sucked up my accelerator pedal five minutes earlier. So, being the determined person that I am, I climbed into the trunk and knelt down on all fours, wrestling the monster vacuum until the hose reached the deepest, darkest, furthest corners.

The next thing you know, I was moaning “Ohhhhhhhhhh, my back,” to no one in particular.

That was really only the beginning. Chasing the pain all night, I alternately took Advil and then used the heating pad. The next morning I drove over to my chiropractor’s office where I get body work (for me, not my car) and darned if the chiropractor didn’t also have a pulled back.

Needless to say, I couldn’t get any assistance or relief that particular day. There we were, each trying to top the other’s story of how badly we had wrenched our backs.

This scenario reminds me that in life, there aren’t always easy solutions. Sometimes you have to settle for the lesser of two evils.

Case in point: you can either have a messy trunk or a bad back. Maybe I need to just relax my standards and forget about trying to keep my trunk spotless. Who sees it anyway? 

If, on the other hand, I can’t let this obsession go, maybe I can bribe Katie into vacuuming periodically when she visits. Wait a minute. What am I thinking? This is the same daughter who recently admitted she only vacuumed our house two or three times in six years.

Katie vacuum my trunk? Yeah, like that’s going to happen…


- Ann Ipock

Author of Life is Short, But It’s Wide; Life is Short, So Read This Fast; and Life is Short, I wish I Was Taller