In glove compartment:
Miniature hard-plastic snap-open box of baby wipes bought in hopes of maintaining then-new car cleanliness. Small pack of kleenex received as part of complimentary “sniffles” pack given out by former health care provider (hated term #1: “health care provider,” along with hated term #2, “educator”). Insurance card, possibly up to date, possibly not (who can keep track? they come so often, and then must be punched out from their partially-laminated sheet of stiff paper). Son’s road test checklist and fee receipt. Easy-reference flip chart guide to car’s controls provided at time of then-new car sale. Winter emergency brown acrylic beret-like back-up hat to be used in case of sudden blizzard when one might have to hike nine miles to nearest town in white-out conditions with only telephone poles for guidance. Winter emergency black acrylic back-up scarf. Winter emergency pair of 2/$1 Walgreen’s acrylic one size fits all miniature gloves, each with tip of middle finger chewed off by covetous dog. Worn sheet of paper containing “How to Jump-Start Your Car” instructions kindly imparted by former student.
In driver’s side door pocket: Pair of yellow rubber kitchen gloves placed there after reading that said gloves work wonders in removing dog hair from furniture (theory untested as of yet). Half-full plastic bottle of spring water which freezes each night and partially thaws when car has been driven more than 20 minutes. Crumpled Select-a-Size Viva paper towel kept in car in case of severe nose drip or beverage spill. Seven smooth gray rocks collected from beach on Lake Superior, which rattle each time car is braked or accelerated.
In secret lift-up storage compartment: Half-full can of mistakenly-bought “lightly salted” cashews kept in case of winter emergency hunger, used only as last resort because who wants “lightly” salted when one could have “extremely heavily salted”?
In front passenger side door : Not sure, to be honest. Perhaps crumpled cellophane wrappers. Perhaps wadded up pieces of paper containing ABC gum. Perhaps old railroad tie bolts found by side of railroad track in Bucyrus, North Dakota. Perhaps nothing, although that seems highly unlikely.
On back seat: Royal blue fleece blanket spread over entire seat and wedged between back cushions in mostly fruitless attempt to keep dog hair confined to fleece blanket and not back seat.
In back seat sleeve storage compartment: Empty plastic water bottle left by child passenger. Small winter emergency pad of paper and pen in case last note of love and reassurance needs to be left for loved ones who will be notified by the authorities of frozen body found huddled within small cinnamon-colored car. Tiny empty boxes of Jujy Fruits, Milk Duds and Nerds left over from Halloween and not disposed of by child passenger, who has many good qualities, cleanliness not being one of them.
In trunk: One 50-pound bag of “grit” and three 50-pound bags of sand, bought from Bryant Hardware in (utterly vain) attempt to make car perform better – or, rather, perform at all – when faced with ice or snow in any amount, serving as impetus for winter emergency preparations. One 15-pound bag of Solid Gold Lamb and Rice dog food. One half-full box of Peanut Butter Madness! Dog Biscuits in shape of happy capering gingerbread boy-like creature. Royal-blue plastic dog double food+water combo travel bowl. One-third full bottle of blue windshield wiper juice. Three dog-mauled tennis balls. Three bungee cords in blue, green and orange. TwoThule tie-downs. Extra light green fleece dog blanket which could also be used in case of emergency, as when traversing North Dakota in a blizzard and forced to pull over by side of road with only dogs and fleece dog blankets for warmth and lightly-salted cashews for sustenance, followed by Peanut Butter Madness! Dog Biscuits in case lightly-salted cashews run out. Travel Scrabble in case of emergency need for entertainment. Miniature, barely-adequate scraper which will not be replaced because of the known existence – even if currently unfindable – of expensive, ergonomically correct, expandable scraper/brush combo in attractive shade of royal blue. Large plastic bag which once contained dozens and dozens of unopened, now opened and emptied, tiny Halloween-size boxes of Jujy Fruits, Nerds, and Milk Duds, continually pilfered over months by candy-mad child despite constant stern warnings by mother to Stop. Stealing. That. Candy.