January 23, 2016

Why You Should Clean Off Your Car During a Snow Day, Even if You Aren't Going Anywhere

I have to admit it -- for all of the jokes people make about the way Tar Heels handle snow and wintry precipitation, I am secretly proud of the state I now consider my home. I like the multiple days I'm trapped at home. As a true type A gal, it's difficult for me to sit still for long. These snowy days are a great excuse to do just that with no guilt.

I can sit home, read books, binge watch movies, eat semi-junk food, and watch all of the crazy videos people post on social media. There's no shame in not wanting to drive or go out in this mess. I have been in North Carolina 20 years now. It's hard to believe.

But I do have this one ritual. If I'm housebound longer than a full day, I go outside and clean off my car. Even though I don't plan on leaving the house, I go outside and get as much snow and ice off the car as possible.

You might wonder why I do this. Why go to all that trouble? I get all bundled up and trek outside, clean off my car, and then go back inside. Many people in my situation just think it's a good idea to let Mother Nature do her thing and let the car melt off naturally. I say, you are missing the fun. It's also the socially responsible thing to do.

Let me 'splain.

Okay, so first the fun. Do you remember when you realized how much fun it was to peel off old dead skin from sunburn? That's nothing compared to the joy of de-icing a car that has been sitting in an NC ice storm. When you begin, you will feel like this is the impossible task. You turn on the defrost in my car and you'll scrape off the first window. Even though all the snow comes off, the layer of ice is still there. In the case of this year, 2015, there was at least an inch and a half of ice to batter through. You start working away at that ice, and it's like trying to dig through concrete.

But as the defrost works and your sheer force of determination begins to whittle away that ice, you find it: the point of resistance. You see a little wiggle of movement and then -yes! - Eureka, a huge chunk of ice the size of your entire window all falls off at once. "Timber!" you shout and lean to the left just in time. Boy do you feel accomplished!

You then do the same for every inch of your car. Sweat pouring off your face, snot running down your nose, your poor gloves soaked through, you painstakingly work the sheet of ice off your car. Whew! Now you can leave -- if you wanted to.

Okay, so that's the fun reason, but there's another reason to do this act of charity. Yes, charity. As fun as it is to clean off a North Carolina iced-in car, it is totally unfun to drive behind an individual who has not done this work. Many an NC driver does the bare minimum. They clear off ice enough so they can see out of their driver side window only and let everything else "melt off naturally."

That's all well and good, but what actually happens is as this melting happens, the huge sheets of ice fall of the cars at top speed, temporarily blinding the driver behind you. Then your remains of ice sit in the road, making hazardous roads again. So, for pete's sake, do this girl a favor and clean off your car. This video below further convince you.

It's good for your heart, good for your soul, and good for community relations!