Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scientific Investigations - Sis 3

An old yellow Ford Pinto is camped in the covered parking stall next to mine. In the almost three years we've lived here, the Pinto has never moved. About a year ago now, someone drew stick figures and and smiley faces on the dusty windows. The scribblings are still there, just covered with an ever-growing layer of dust.

Mom and Sis 4 fly in to visit us every so often. After I pick them up at the airport, the first thing they say when we drive into the parking lot is, "Well, guess we came to the right place. The Pinto's still here." It has become a bit of a standing joke.

A few weeks ago, Mom came to stay with me while my husband was away on business. While she was here, we decided to figure out, once and for all, how long the Pinto has been sitting there. I had noticed there was a newspaper lying open on the back seat. Since the paper was at the top of the pile, we figured it would give us a fairly good idea of when the car had been driven last. 

Unfortunately, the paper was lying on the left side of the back seat--the side parked next to the wall. The gap between the wall and the car was much too small for us to get through, so we were limited to looking through the window opposite the paper. Between the distance and dust, we couldn't make out the date printed in the upper right corner. 

Not to be defeated, we used my phone to take a picture of the paper. Getting a clear shot took a few tries. The first picture showed nothing but the reflection of light on the dusty window. Six strong wipes at the dirt and using HD mode on my camera did the trick. We couldn't zoom in close enough on the phone screen to see the date, so we went inside and uploaded the picture to my computer. 

Still no luck. When we zoomed in close enough to see the date, the pixelation made the letters too fuzzy to read. We were stumped for a few minutes. 

Ah hah! The large headline of one of the articles was legible, as was the name of the paper. A few minutes search through the Chronicle's online archives and we had our answer. The paper was printed on June 27, 2006. Thus, according to our scientific deductions, the Pinto must have been permanently parked around the same time.

Now, why the Pinto has been camped here for nearly six years is another question altogether. Maybe we'll take up that investigation next.

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