Ghost, be gone!
June 11, 2010 2:42 PM   Subscribe

My wife is going to be traveling in my car with someone whom I'm really not fond of. What should I do when my car gets back to feel fine about driving it again?

This is kind of silly, but I'd like to conduct some simple "ritual" when my car gets back to sort of get rid of this person's presence. I'm looking for simple, non-cultural or religious things I can do feel like I've cleaned out my car, in a manner of speaking.

One idea I've had it to drive for about the same time this person is going to be in my car with someone I really like in the passenger seat.

Any other ideas? Thanks!
posted by elder18 to Travel & Transportation (38 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Well, it is kind of silly, but the traditional route for people who are into this stuff is sage smudging. Google 'sage smudge' and find a link that isn't too hippie-dippie for you and you'll get the gist. And you can apparently buy the smudge sticks on Amazon.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:45 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: Ha, this is AWESOME/HILARIOUS. My suggestion is to invite over a great friend, park the car in the yard with some great music playing (I'd put on lucero) and drink a fifth of bourbon.

That's just me though.
posted by TheBones at 2:45 PM on June 11, 2010 [8 favorites]

Print out their facebook page and make it into an origami pterodactyl. Toss it out the window as you drive to your therapist's office.
posted by Askr at 2:47 PM on June 11, 2010 [81 favorites]

Take it and get it detailed? That's about as atheist as car cleansing gets.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:48 PM on June 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Take it down to the carwash and vacuum it out real good. Best cleaning ritual I can think of.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:49 PM on June 11, 2010

Burn an incense stick
posted by gadha at 2:52 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: You do realize that whatever time/energy/money you put into this is wasted on someone you don't like, right? I can't imagine giving up 3 hours of a limited lifetime to ritualize someone you can't stand.

That said, your car probably needs a good wash and detail anyways (because most people's do) so why not kill a sane bird with this stone?
posted by Hiker at 2:52 PM on June 11, 2010 [8 favorites]

please tell me this isn't your wife's male friend...
posted by nadawi at 2:56 PM on June 11, 2010 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a fan of the lysol once-over. Sanitation and sane have the same root, you know.
posted by cestmoi15 at 2:57 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I read somewhere that eggs are supposed to be good for absorbing negative energy (this would be according to some witchcrafty tradition or other.) So you could leave an egg in it for 24 hours with the intention of absorbing the negativity, then dispose of it somewhere off your property.

In a similar sense, salt is said to be purifying. So you might sprinkle salt on the upholstery and carpet, leave it for a bit to do its work, and then go and vaccuum the car real good as suggested above.

Spraying a nice air freshner (either a commerical one or aromatherapy) would change the atmosphere in the care in a tangible way you might find satisfying.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:57 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: Second sage-smudging. It is a little hippy-dippy, but the smell of burning sage is perfect for things like this: It's smokey (duh) in a pleasant, comforting, campfire-ish way, but there's an an acrid, almost astringent hint in it that feels very medicinal-- so it's easy to let yourself believe that it's "doing something." Woo-woo aside, I find that burning it can reset the atmosphere of a place quite nicely.

Maybe you can combine the smudging with taking your wife and a good friend or two on a short jaunt out of town in it for drive-in burgers and shakes. Make sure to play fun, bouncy music that you can sing along to.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:57 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tell your wife to take her own car. Or the friend's car. That guarantees the bad energy won't be there.

(Not that I'm disagreeing with the premise. Sometimes a car just doesn't feel right after someone else has been driving it.)
posted by gjc at 2:59 PM on June 11, 2010

Buy a couple of cheap seat covers and install them before your wife and her friend leave. When they get back, remove the seat covers and throw them away.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:59 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you don't want to burn stuff in your car, essential oil might work. Clary Sage Oil takes the stink out of my shoes.

Also, you might be able to find sage growing somewhere. Pick some, let it dry, bundle it up, and then burn it.
posted by thylacine at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2010

Pay for a rental instead of loaning your car. Any exorcizing that comes to mind is religious in nature, including a navaho singing.
posted by francesca too at 3:04 PM on June 11, 2010

New hula doll for the dashboard. I find this really marks a car as my own. I have a Hello Kitty one.
posted by fifilaru at 3:04 PM on June 11, 2010

Find a senior citizen to drive to a doctor's appointment or the grocery store.
posted by alphanerd at 3:18 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In the middle of the night, drive it around as fast as you can (safely) with all the windows rolled all the way down and the music cranked all the way up.

Cold air + loud noises scares the demons away.

Or so I'm told.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:21 PM on June 11, 2010

I can't believe no one suggested a good snogging in the back seat with your wife after the fact. Unless we're supposed to make that the follow-up to TheBones' suggestion with the bourbon and music and parking.
posted by whatzit at 3:25 PM on June 11, 2010

Just spray Febreze.
posted by davejay at 3:32 PM on June 11, 2010

I'd put a canary in there and let it sit for a few hours, to test for the presence of any lingering noxious fumes. If you don't have a disposable canary, I guess a yellow one of these might do.
posted by otolith at 3:52 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

My company manufactures an enzyme-based aerosol which when sprayed on upholstery eats all the bacteria it comes in contact with. Drop me a MeMail if you're interested and I'll send you a free can.
posted by gman at 4:03 PM on June 11, 2010

For a split second I read walk around your car as wank around your car and, uh, yeah, anyway, maybe something highly personal and private like that would mark it as your own again?
posted by kmennie at 4:09 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is your wife going to receive the same spiritual hose-down afterwards?

Ok, jab aside, I'll fully admit to being a passive-aggressive Febreez-er. This was especially useful for irritating college roommates. Spraying their chair, dirty clothes, never washed sheets, etc, made me feel better. I also used the unscented/allergen reducing brand so no gross perfume smell. I'm pretty sure the active ingredient is placebo, but that sounds exactly like what you are asking for.
posted by fontophilic at 4:42 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

I love it. Many cultures all over the world believe in the sort of negative energy or spiritual impurity or "unclean" vibes left by people for various reasons. It's seen as a superstition in western culture, but frankly, I think most people believe in it more than they admit.

I vote sage-smudging, because it's nice. But incense of any kind is good too. I love this question.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:48 PM on June 11, 2010

>Ha, this is AWESOME/HILARIOUS. My suggestion is to invite over a great friend, park the car in the yard with some great music playing (I'd put on lucero) and drink a fifth of bourbon.

I wouldn't want to be caught by the cops drunk in a car (no matter where its parked) and no matter what my story is.

Is there any one your wife hates? Drive them around....
posted by bottlebrushtree at 5:06 PM on June 11, 2010

A raccoon tail hung from the aerial is the traditional way of cleansing your car & giving it ongoing protection from ghosts & the evil eye.

If you can't find one, a pair of fuzzy dice on your rear view mirror will do the trick. Bad energy & spirits are repelled by the number seven - the sum of the opposite sides of the dice.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:44 PM on June 11, 2010

Buy a Matchbox car just like your car and poke pins in the passenger seat voodoo style while they're gone on the trip?
posted by tamitang at 5:55 PM on June 11, 2010

When I moved into an apartment that had been previously occupied by a pretty vile person, I went to a Botanica and bought a can of 'Go Away Evil' incense, (about 2 bucks) we then burned it throughout the house. I had never heard of a sage smudge or I would have done that.
posted by InkaLomax at 6:49 PM on June 11, 2010

Best answer: How about spending 10 minutes while the person is actually in car with your wife thinking about how much control you really want to give this person over your life. Then when the car is returned, get in, drive to the grocery store, get really smug and think to yourself "You have no power over me." Buy milk, come home.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:55 PM on June 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

I say be proactive. Rub poison oak all over the seat BEFORE the villain gets in. Afterwards, burn car to ground and collect insurance to really get closure.
posted by jcworth at 7:00 PM on June 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Pee on it.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:31 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pee on it.

posted by gjc at 8:26 PM on June 11, 2010

When Buffy wanted to rescind Angel's permission to enter her house (after he turned into Angelus) she had Willow cast a spell which a little googling turned up.

Willow: 'Hicce verbis consensus rescissus est.'

So maybe say that during the sage smudging.
posted by Bonzai at 8:34 PM on June 11, 2010

This is awesome. A certain member of my family sometimes has occasion to drive genuinely creepy people around in our car as a consequence of his profession and I have a hard time getting over it afterward, especially as I'm usually the passenger and and I can feel and smell their cooties on my seat belt. I unroll that thing as far as it will go and wipe it down with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. All surfaces that can withstand alcohol get wiped down with that, and the rest get wiped down with a regular wet rag.

posted by HotToddy at 9:25 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

(You've made the classic mistake of having a nicer car than your wife. By nicer, I mean more reliable/quieter/whatever. The idea of my wife using any of my cars would double her over in hysterics.)

Get it detailed, or if you enjoy puttering, detail it yourself. Since this is so weird, put on surgical gloves, remove the passenger seat, and do a Ted Bundy-style hose down of it with your wife watching.
posted by maxwelton at 1:52 AM on June 12, 2010

Best answer: Also, don't forget to utter "vios con dios indeed" a la Paul Bartel in Eating Raoul if you discover an empty condom wrapper under the seat.
posted by maxwelton at 1:56 AM on June 12, 2010

i think there's something to be said for the power of ritual, even when it's silly, and more or less for it's own sake. call me a post-modern atheist if you will, but there's something soothing about making a big fuss about something, playing around with snake oil or what have you, making lots of noise, and at the end feeling very self-satisfied, and not judging yourself for your wanton silliness. Just because you're not religious doesn't mean you can't have a bit of fun sometimes.
I think the comment about parking it on your lawn, playing loud music and getting drunk hits the spot. If you park up somewhere and start lighting sage inside, I'm sure the police will visit your smoke filled sedan shortly.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 11:21 PM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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