Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I rarely carry cash. That makes it easy to turn away panhandlers and bellringers with a clear conscience. "Sorry, I don't have any cash." Today I actually had cash on me, though after I paid for my delicious takeout falafel and tabouli at lunch, I had only a twenty and a single one. As I approached my car a homeless-looking man began spritzing and wiping my very dirty windshield. I felt a brief flicker of irritation--he didn't even ASK first! (And confusion--this doesn't happen regularly in Tulsa. The panhandlers NEVER want to "work for food," despite their placards to the contrary.) Then I realized that, after the recent inclement weather, my windshield was very, VERY dirty and that whatever magical elixir he had in his beat-up Febreze bottle, it was doing a very good job of cleaning. So I let him finish, and handed him the single dollar (what? you think I'm handing over a twenty?) with a smile. He grunted thanks and walked off. (I don't think the grunt was necessarily meant to be unpleasant--he seemed to have difficulty speaking.) But as he walked off I was wishing I'd had a five. Compared to my sparkling (and completely streak-free--what WAS that magic elixir?) windshield, my side windows and back windshield looked like Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze after their pot-throwing love scene. I didn't feel that $1 and a smile merited a more thorough window cleaning, so I regretfully drove off less than completely fulfilled. Sigh. I suppose I could go home and clean the rest of the windows myself. Or only look forward while I drive. Yeah, that's easier.

8 comments:

georgeious said...

a clean windshield is sooooo much better than the old "excuse me, maaaaaaa'aaaam, but my baby is sick/i'm down on my luck/i need 87 more cents to get back to dallas" lines i'm accustomed to in that situation.

-R- said...

I see the homeless people with signs, but it has been a really long time since I have seen a windshield cleaner. I wonder why that is.

lizgwiz said...

George: I agree!

r: I'm guessing because it involves actual work? Too bad, 'cause I never remember to wash my own windshield before I'm behind the wheel, squinting. By the way, I tried very hard to comment on your blog this morning, but it wouldn't let me. Apparently Blogger Beta doesn't care for the famous original recipe blogger.

3carnations said...

I am going to sound soooooo negative here...But regardless of how clean my window gets, I don't want anyone doing anything to my car without my permission.

(...walks her negative self away from the conversation...)

lizgwiz said...

3c: Oh, I definitely know the feeling. If the window hadn't instantly looked so much better, there'd have been words! (And not nice ones.) Maybe he's just lucky I've been working on my Christmas spirit.

Yez said...

I would've reacted exactly the same way: irritation along with the dollar and a smile :-)

I'd heard that Peter Boyle wasn't in good health, but I'm so sorry to see him go.

stefanie said...

Did he use newspaper to wipe the windshield, instead of a rag or some such thing? Because if so, that might be the secret (as opposed to a magic elixer). I don't know why newspapers would work as a window-cleaning rag, but they do--better than anything else.

Also, I'm having the same problem commenting with Blogger. It's really annoying.

lizgwiz said...

stefanie: It's SO annoying, isn't it? And no, he just used a rag. The magic ingredient is probably his saliva or something, and the joke's on me. Ewww.