It was a child’s innocence that drove the question; one that many adults almost certainly have harbored but remained mum.
“When are you going to clean your car?” asked nine-year-old Andrea.
Cute kid, a couple of church family folk have there for a granddaughter.
Andrea had just ridden in Little Red, my 2006 Hyundai Tucson V6 with an odometer-jarring 169,000 miles.
Placed in a child’s seat that necessitated raising the vehicle’s always-down left rear seat, Andrea had no other choice but to stare at all the flotsam and jetsam that has either washed from underneath the front seat or else has cascaded over the lip of the down split-back seat.
This detritus has built up over the years, the way magma begins to accumulate inside a still-active volcano.
Certainly nothing will explode, though from time to time I do manage to recover a lost shot shell last season and needed during the previous goose-hunting season.
No matter since Little Red happens to my personal Huntmobile, one that transforms itself into a Fishmobile during the respective angling and hunting seasons.
My Huntmobile has all of the necessary tools to get the job done right, too. It has plenty of pockets and cubbyholes to store valuable stuff. That much of this so-called stuff is never really used its sole purpose is intended to ease my mind that if I ever needed such-and-such tool or this-and-that widget and gadget it can be found in Little Red, my huntmobile.
Or mostly, anyway, as my efforts to supply and resupply the vehicle goes on and on. Every now and then I do forget exactly where I left things, including the extra tent stakes, a just-in-case requirement given that I do not own a tent but figure the metal posts may have another critical use not yet foreseen.
And before you ask, of course I have a collection of bungee cords. Along with cable ties, rope of two sizes, heavy-duty line and a couple of rolls of duct tape, including one finished in blaze orange, thank you.
Those necessities ride right along with the appropriate and seasonal goose-hunting, turkey-hunting, bird-hunting, and steelhead-fishing vests. Rain gear as well in addition to a pair of knee-high rubber boots are signature must- haves Huntmobile-Fishmobile items along with a well-stocked first aid kit for me and one for my two Labrador retrievers.
Oh, and wedged between the front and back seats is a spare walking cane should my adjustable hiking staff be tucked too far down in the truck so that it cannot be pried out anytime soon.
Okay, maybe on the floor are some petrified McDonald French fries and a wandering cough drop or two that somehow had escaped imprisonment in Little Red’s glove box. I seriously doubt the accumulated weight of this refuse would exceed five or so pounds, however.
Things have gotten so out of hand that whenever my oldest brother Terry is compelled to ride in Little Red he supplies his own towel to sit on. I’m magnanimous to accept an otherwise failed attempt at poor humor.
Some folks may wonder why not flush out Little Red after each use. The simple and short answer is a a rhetorical one: “Say what; are you crazy?”
Look, Little Red may find itself pressed into service for a morning goose hunt only to see that gear bartered for archery deer-hunting tackle a few hours later
I’m also happy if I can tamp down the odor of wet dog before I stuff my crossbow, arrows and appropriate clothing into the vehicle.
The same thing goes on the spring where the exchange rate is calculated in turkey-hunting equipment verses steelhead fly-fishing gear.
If you’re going to suggest that the best solution is to own a separate Huntmobile and a separate Fishmobile I’ve been down that road with Bev on several occasion. It simply is not going to happen.
So Little Red remains my idea of an ideal Huntmobile/Fishmobile. So much so that I have taped to the dashboard in front of the front passenger seat a “Hagar the Horrible” cartoon. The single frame shows an obvious distraught Mrs. Hagar and her balloon comment being “Hagar, you’re a dirty, disgusting pig.”
To which an equally obviously perplexed Hagar’s balloon responding “And your point is…?”
Anyway, I promised Andrea that if she ever again wanted to go for a ride in Little Red I’d clean its innards just for her.
I’d like to prove it, too, by taking a couple of photographs to show Andrea before her arrival . The problem is, however, the camera is somewhere within Little Red’s bowels and I just can’t seem to find it.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn