Arriving at my decidedly non-reserved slot in the company parking lot after 4:30, I noticed that creatures unknown had taken a dump on Gwendolyn’s hood. (The British term “bonnet” seems even worse here.) The stuff was just slightly darker than burnt sienna, which told me that it likely wasn’t a bird; any bird passing something that color, and in that volume, would very likely be found dead a few yards away. So: some sort of humanoid, perhaps in prankster mode. I swore vengeance, vowing that if I ever caught the perp messing around my motor vehicle again, I would kill him, and tell God he died.
This sounded even sillier after a couple of iterations, so I tried to come up with another explanation. Could something have slopped onto me during the morning commute? And why didn’t I notice it, if it had? The latter question, at least, was easier to answer: I leave for work in the first half of the six o’clock hour. Sunrise that morning: 7:12.
I grabbed a paper towel from my in-car stash and pinched off the bulk of the, um, loaf. This time I had an ID: old-style axle grease. Now I can always think of a good reason not to go to the car wash, especially when there’s a 70-percent chance of rain in the next 24 hours, so I decided I would address this mess at home. As it turned out, I had the solution right at the kitchen sink: I covered the stuff with a thin layer of Dawn dishwashing liquid, squeezed a sponge or two worth of water on the blob, waited a little while, and whisked about 75 percent of it away on the first swipe. Probably damaged the sponge beyond repair the Law of Conservation of Filth, which states that to get something clean, you must also get something dirty, is inflexible and adamantine but hey, I got that crap off my car without messing up the clearcoat.
Later, I contemplated the source once more. If something going down the road is sloughing off grease in such quantities, I reasoned, very soon it will not be going down the road at all, because a bearing will be baked to a crackly crunch.