So This One Time at the Auto Mechanic...

This is my car:

Hey, car.

Hey, car.

Car is now 8 years old and has put up with a lot of abuse over the years. But it does its job well, hauls as much as we can throw at/in it, and, I like driving it.

Over the last couple of years it seems to have become self-aware enough to have decided that many parts of it have secret expiration dates that only it knows about.

Fair enough.

A few months ago, however, something felt very wrong to me out of the blue. Couldn't really explain it, it was just... wrong.

So I took it in to Car Fixing guy, who keeps my baby for a day and tells me that from what he could tell, something has been chewing through some of the wiring on my car.

Uh...

image courtesy of wallpixy.com

image courtesy of wallpixy.com

And apparently the chewed wiring included the bits that tell my car it's a 4WD.

So now it's only 2WD. Sort-of.

Hence the "wrongness" I was feeling whilst driving.

You might be wondering at this point why I'm writing about the Xenomorph attack on my car on the blog about Josh. If you're not, what the hell is wrong with you?

Patience, grasshoppers. It's coming.

Turns out that the culprits here were not actually bad-ass, teeth-wielding Aliens - which would have made this a much better story, by the way - but something a little less exciting and, frankly, a lot more annoying.

image courtesy of wired.com

image courtesy of wired.com

Jerks.

And yes, mice were eating my car. This is not something I've ever experienced before, even in places were my car was always parked outside, as it is here. I am told however, that this is common on the island. Seriously? "Oh yeah, the mice totalled my car last year".

Ok then.

Note to self: next time we move make sure to ask about car-eating rodents.

ps. we moved to an island.

ANYWAY, now that I have been fully briefed on the potential hazards of life on Auto-Munching Mutant Mice Island, car still needs fixing.

The morning of its admission to the car hospital to get its 4WD back and a rabies shot, I loaded the boys up to drop them at school first.

As I was closing the rear hatch, there was this... noise. It sounded like something inside the hatch had broken in to a million pieces, and all those pieces were falling down as the hatch closed.

Zach and I just stared at each other.

"What was THAT?"

I had no idea. So of course we tried opening and closing it again just to make sure we weren't hallucinating.

Nope, not hallucinating, there's the million-pieces-of-petrified-mice-and/or-their poop sound again and yes, that is exactly what I was thinking.

Luckily the drive to school is only about 10 minutes - Zach couldn't get out of the car fast enough.

I get the mouse version of Watership Down to Car Fixing Guy and inform him of this new development. He promises me he'll check it out after they deal with the previously identified carnage.

Richard and I head back later in the day to pick-up my fixed and (hopefully) exterminated vehicle.

As we are walking toward the garage, Car Fixing Guy sees us, gets a funny look on his face, and runs in to a back room.

He emerges with a look of both triumph and confusion. He says, "We took the rear hatch apart for you to see what was happening. There was something in there alright, but we've never seen anything like this before... ever... "

As he is finishing his sentence, he holds up a large (gallon-size) Ziploc bag.

The bag is full.

Of these:

So... this is better than mice junk... right? image courtesy of nourish-and-flourish

So... this is better than mice junk... right?

image courtesy of nourish-and-flourish

Richard and I stared in disbelief at the giant bag of peanut M&M's for about 3 seconds before we both said "Josh... " and then burst out laughing.

Car Fixing Guy was really confused now.

So, I'm sure I've mentioned Toad's love of candy and how I will resort to handing it to him when the situation calls for it. Mostly this happens in the car, if he's really unhappy. Since someone else I know also really likes candy, and particularly peanut M&M's, that's what I've had on hand.

But how on earth did they get from Josh's hands, to the INSIDE of my rear hatch???

It's a mystery...

Professor Moriarty, I presume? LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Professor Moriarty, I presume? LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Toad sits in the middle row, right behind the driver's seat.

This, is the rear hatch:

Because I'm sure you've never seen one before...

Because I'm sure you've never seen one before...

Which at first didn't appear to have any connection to the inside of it.

Ahhh, but then I saw these:

See that black sort-of corrugated tube coming out of the side and then attaching to the hatch?

See that black sort-of corrugated tube coming out of the side and then attaching to the hatch?

There are two of these and they are the ONLY connection that actually leads to the INSIDE of the hatch itself.

Ok, we found the exit point. There is absolutely no other way inside the body of that hatch.

So where's the ENTRY?

Because we are super-duper smart, we knew it had to be close to where Josh sits. I know right? It's like we're geniuses or something.

But where? Lightning strikes a second time as we realize that the wayward M&M's could not be moving UP  that door panel to the connector spot, so they had to be coming DOWN from inside the roof.

This clip is taken from the NOVA PBS series "THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE' and is used under the provisions of the Digital Millineum Copyright Act of 1998 (Title IV). Brian Greene guides us through Newton's discovery of gravity to the explanation of it, through Einsteins Theory of Relativity.

But how is he getting them in the ceiling? HOW?!?!

Oh hey Mr Ceiling seat-belt, what's up?

Oh hey Mr Ceiling seat-belt, what's up?

I don't know, I don't really think you could...

Well there's that...

Well there's that...

Josh routinely reaches up to pull that middle belt down and play with it. Also, apparently, to squirrel away his M&M's for the winter.

Wait...  I DID NOT SAY SQUIRREL!

You rang? Also, the mice tell me your car is made out of nuts and rainbows. I'll be moving in tomorrow, so could you get my room ready? ps. I don't really like the blue ones - Kirby