Miracle on Richmond Road

All kinds of fascinating things happen in the summertime—BBQ cookouts, prospective students flooding campus, the discovery of a new beachy area of town or a new Sno-to-Go flavor, and more. I was particularly enlightened during this year’s steamy, swampy season by a certain occurrence about two weeks ago.

Given my obsession with Diet Coke, I make it a habit to have a can handy at all times. It makes my life simpler. The easiest way to have one ready to go for lunches in the Admission Office each day was to keep a twelve pack in the trunk of my car and grab one on the way in. It turns out, however, that if you keep cans of soda in an enclosed area that’s consistently over 100°F, those cans will explode.

Yes, explode. Legitimately everywhere, leaving you with nothing but popped open coke cans and a giant mess.

I had been blissfully unaware of this phenomenon until I opened my trunk to grab a coke during the week when Williamsburg became an earthly oven earlier in July. The coke can I reached in to grab was totally empty…and the carbonated liquid previously in it all over a pink button-down and a beige skirt that had been sitting in my trunk, patiently awaiting the day they’d be dry-cleaned. We’re talking very serious mess here—the shirt looked half brown, the skirt as though I had rolled around in dirt for a couple hours while sporting my Sunday best.

Now here’s where the fun part comes in: What to do next? I seriously considered getting rid of both forever, but I heard my mother in my mind telling me that’d be a waste and that I had given up too easily. (I should mention here that I get my diet coke addiction from her, so really, this was indirectly her fault.) From there, it seemed I might as well take a shot at taking them to Master Cleaners on Richmond Road to see if they could do the seemingly impossible.

The woman at the cleaners was as nice as she could be, but she was also very concerned: “Umm, I’m gonna need you to sign this saying we can wash it…and it might shrink…or not work no matter what we do…but we’re gonna try!” Master Cleaners: An attitude to emulate. I like it. So I tried my luck.

Just yesterday, I picked up my clothing from the Cleaners, and it honestly looked brand new. The employee who got my clothes from the back had already become familiar with my situation: “Ooooh! You’re Diet Coke girl! We had to wash your clothes again and again…Yeah, umm, our owner said to tell you to quit drinking Diet Coke…”

Let’s be honest. That’ll happen when I quit drinking Wawa coffee every morning, which will be NEVER. (Dentists are reading this, cringing, and pondering how my teeth have not completely yellowed or just fallen out.) Still, I appreciated the sentiment and am now convinced that Master Cleaners works miracles. My only regret at this point is that I don’t have “Before” and “After” photos to prove what an extraordinary job they did.

Important lessons garnered this summer: 1) Master Cleaners delivers. 2) Leave your coke in temperate environments.
Words to the wise for future inhabitants of the ‘Burg in the summer months.

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