My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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January 4th, 2011

You’ll Never Guess Why I Was Late Today

At 5:45 this morning, I left my apartment, and walked across the street to where I had left my car. I was wearing the hat I had recently knit (knitted? knat?), gloves, a hooded sweatshirt and a wool pea coat. I was also carrying a blanket, because it was 36 degrees outside, and my car doesn’t have a heater. The picture I’m trying to paint for you is that I looked like a huge jerk, waddling off in the darkness, all bundled up like I was about to scale K2. (I say “K2” instead of “Everest” because, come on, have you met me? Do I look like I would ever scale Everest? I don’t even own any rope.)

I got to my car, flermped onto the seat, and started the ignition. Because I couldn’t see out the window, I hit the windshield wipers. They went, up and back, and made a pleasant whooshing sound, but didn’t change anything. I still couldn’t see at all.

I found this disconcerting so I said, “What the hell?” aloud. The last thing I needed after holiday shopping and travel was to purchase something for my car. Then I noticed a chunk of something migrating down the passenger side window.

It was ice.

This would have been VERY exciting except that it was 5:45 in the morning, I needed to be at work, and I have no ice scraper. Because, you know, I live in Los Angeles.

The first thing I did was call Paul, who was already on the road, the poor bastard, and who has some experience with this kind of frozen crapfest.

“What the eff?” I asked him.

“Well usually I just use an ice scraper,” said Paul, helpfully.


“Which you don’t have,” he remembered. Then he suggested I MacGuyver myself an ice removal tool out of whatever I found on hand. Lucky for me, I put things in my trunk instead of throwing them away. Things like errant Legos, an enormous amount of green cloth, empty water bottles and a pair of orange high-heeled wedges someone gave me as a joke and that I will never, ever wear. The only thing that I found that was even remotely capable of scrapin’ was a paperback copy of the lab manual from my genetics class. Which I took in 2009. (It’s like I’ve always said: Always be ready to isolate bioluminescent genetic material in an emergency.)

So, in my ghetto-Eskimo outfit, I took my old lab manual and went to town.

While I was scraping, a homeless man in a puffy blue jacket carrying a giant backpack came by. After I got over the fear that he would kill me and throw me in the trunk of my own car, I noticed that his outfit and luggage made him look sort of like a Sherpa. He stopped five feet from my car, muttering. I wanted to ask him if he was also going to climb K2, but I didn’t want to seem insane.

By this time, the lab manual was completely saturated with cold water, and about as useful for de-icing a windshield as a ham sandwich. But everything was still dangerously icy. So I took off a glove, and began scraping it off with my fingernails, hoping the heat from my bare hand would help melt it. (The heat from my bare hand dissipated in about three minutes, and I don’t think my index finger has recovered yet.)

In the end, after the homeless man let out a startling grunt, prompting me to get in my car and drive away, I defeated the stuff with several bursts of wiper fluid.

I know. What a stupid ending! But let’s not forget what we learned: 1) Winter in Southern California IS possible. 2) I dress myself like a moron. 3) I’m probably a hoarder.

Stay warm, folks!

3 comments to You’ll Never Guess Why I Was Late Today

  • ShawnC

    It’s why I subscribe to the robust but oft-maligned Global Freezing theory. If people need ice scrapers in Los Angeles, then what did they use to clean their thinly-sheened ice windshields down at the Equator this morning. Huh?

    Happy 2011, by the by, to you and Paul. And bundle up.

  • Liz

    Thanks Man!!

    I think we should start an ice scraper donation program.

  • Um….I have THREE scrapers…somewhere in the crap collection in my car. I usually end up using a plastic gift card that hasn’t made it to the garbage from my wallet after being used up.

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