Sunday, October 22

Code Black

A word to those traveling east on Wilshire Blvd, near Curson: the Tar Pits are busting out all over, and best to mind your puddles, or be blessed with a christening of goo.

I can't really say I was that upset to find viscous lumps of tar all over my pink pants after hopping up a curb through what appeared in the dark to be a regular old water puddle. There is something magical about the La Brea Tar Pits being right here in the city, bordered by an art museum, a pseudo-utopian housing project, and a magnificent east/west corridor. Learning about these pits in science class as a young midwesterner, I imagined them to exist in the Middle of Nowehere. To find them jammed into the urban environment, paved over and embellished with dramatic sculptures of mastadons, was an odd surprise.

It's unfair to blame nature for curdling up out of the ground when you least expect it, but if you want to save your pants from getting extremely soiled, it's a good idea to steer clear of tar puddles.

Thankfully, last night, a generous old time fiddler was on hand with a flask of Tennessee whiskey. Jack Daniels managed to cut the tar pretty well, though further experiments later at home involving degreaser, rubbing alcholol and WD-40, found the latter to be the big winner for tar removal. The bike needed a cleaning anyhow, but this is the second pair of pink pants to be consumed by street stains.


Coffee Messiah said...

Wow, I remember seeing the "tar pits" in the 60s on a visit from SF. Was pretty awe inspiring to think of the time that passed.
Amazing to think it seeps into the streets even today!

ubrayj02 said...

If you want to get tar off - use a similar liquid. "Like attracts like".

Tar is a mess of long-chain hydrocarbons. So, to take it off, sue long-chain hydrocarbons: oilve oil, corn oil, etc.

I used to get tar all over my feet at the beach in Santa Barbara, and a paper towel with some olive oil poured on it works like a charm to get rid of the stuff.