By Jim Hagarty
This is a story of hope and wonder and persistence. Some might add idiocy but that is not a word that applies, in my opinion.
In April 2013, a good lookin’ young fella (me), bought a nice used car (on the Internet, so you know I couldn’t go wrong). It was fantastic in every way with only a few flaws. One of those little wrinkles was a foggy headlight lens. So foggy it’s a wonder any light ever escaped it.
This was a problem I wanted to address so I took one year to think about it. This is the required waiting time for an issue such as this. To take action any sooner than 12 months would be impetuous and potentially dangerous.
When Phase 2 (obsession takes hold) arrived following the year-long consideration period, I began to research solutions. I am not a car guy in much the same way that Stevie Wonder is not a house painter, and so I defer to our mechanic to solve 99 per cent of our car’s problems. If he says I need a two-phase, four-pronged, self-timing, fully computerized, oil deflector injecting thing, I tell him to go ahead and crack one on there, price be damned. But I draw the line at a foggy piece of plastic. If I can’t fix that, then I have failed as a human being.
I was willing to do anything it took to clear up this lens cover, anything, that is, except spend any money. I drew the line at that. So, when you want to do something for next to nothing, you turn to the Internet, which I did.
First out of the gate was toothpaste. Several videos by several people showed them smearing on ordinary toothpaste and wiping it off almost immediately to show a perfectly clear lens. I chuckled and laughed, grabbed some toothpaste and took to the task. Those idiots on YouTube need to be rounded up and charged with giving out false headlight lens advice. The only fitting penalty would be to have each of them eat a tube of toothpaste.
Next up, vinegar. The miracle household chemical. More videos. More instant results. I ran outside, vinegar in hand, applied as directed, and voila! Nothing. Now I had a few more YouTube frauds to add to my hate list.
Baking soda and vinegar. It fizzed which is a sure sign of something that would clear up a headlight lens. If I ever bump into the young man who made the video with that solution, I will pour baking soda and vinegar down his pants.
Baking soda and Murphy’s Oil Soap. OMG, why didn’t I think of that? So obvious. And so ridiculously wrong. I will never forgive the chump that posted that video.
Blue Dawn dish soap and vinegar. When I die I want to be embalmed with Blue Dawn and vinegar. I hope that solution keeps me intact for a while because it absolutely fails as a headlight cleaner.
I took to Facebook and posted my problem. I got several replies but I had obviously misled some of my FB friends as they somehow had the impression that I was willing to pay for a kit to clean my headlight lens. I am not.
However, on Sunday, I had to admit defeat. I went to the store and stared blankly at the couple of dozen kits and ointments that promise to clean up my headlight cover. I got discouraged and walked out with nothing.
Home again, and foolishly cruising the Internet one more time, I noticed this little comment from someone, somewhere who I now have a crush on. “If you’re desperate,” wrote the commenter, “and nothing you have tried has cleared up the problem, apply some baby oil. Buff dry.”
I love baby oil and I would like to officially thank all the babies who got together to create this oil, whatever is in it, I don’t care. My headlight lens is clear as a bell now and I am running all over our property applying baby oil to everything that moves.
My problem was solved for less than a nickel. Less than a nickel is my favourite price to pay for anything. I am tempted to do a YouTube video, but am resisting. I don’t want anyone beating me on the head with a baby oil bottle although I could probably treat that bruising with Blue Dawn and vinegar.