Makeup on the steering wheel

On the way back from Tampa last weekend, my Zen from the meditation retreat I attended was tested by a series of bells and warnings from my Mini Cooper. Each time I turned on the car, I got warnings that my backup light wasn’t working and neither were my rear turn signals. Despite this, I continued to use the signals — which continued with its usual and comforting click-clack. I’m guessing this gave my fellow drivers no issues, however, as few in the Sunshine State actually use the things, or, if they do, generally leave the signals on for miles at a time.

So on Monday afternoon, I went over to the Braman dealership on Northeast Second Avenue to get it looked at. It turned out it was due for its regular service anyhow, so score on that end. The driver side seatbelt had been acting up, the car seemed to have a leak, or at least a slight moldy smell and, despite my attempts to clean it, the steering wheel had gotten discolored. After all of this was dutifully recorded by the service rep, I jumped into a the red Hyundai Elantra the nice folks gave me as a loaner, and got on my way.

Friday afternoon I received a call that my car was ready. I braved the heat and the hell that is the intersection of Northeast 36th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, got my paperwork, returned the loaner and steeled myself for the two mile gauntlet home. While waiting at one of the interminable red lights between that particular Point A and Point B, I absently leafed through the descriptions of the work done. Much seemed pretty standard, though one stuck out at me (sic):


Heh. As I’m guessing my girlfriend does not make a habit of sneaking down to my car in the middle of the night and smearing her face on the steering wheel, this explanation is not, well, correct. What could it be? I have been quite a lot of hot yoga recently, so it is built up, dried, sweat? (Ick.) Or perhaps sea water from the Dragon Boat practices? (Better, but still a bit weird.) Build up from the cleaner I was using? (Hmm. Maybe?)

Now, I realize two things: I own a Mini Cooper, and said car is a convertible. My unscientific survey of the genders of people driving cars like my own indicates a significant majority are female. Perhaps the mechanic was just playing the odds.

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