Memphis, TN – Frustrated by the constant stream of hurtful taunts written on his dirty windows, James Burton’s 2008 Toyota Corolla took revenge Sunday evening by writing “wash me” on teenager Brandon Peltner’s blemish-filled face while he slept.
Peltner, a high school freshman with chronic skin problems, has lived across the street from the fuel-efficient compact car since 2008. In recent years, he has been witnessed writing a variety of wash-related taunts on the Corolla’s dirty side and rear windows.
According to neighbors, things came to head on the evening of June 3, 2012, at which time Peltner reportedly wrote “If you think my car is dirty, you should see my balls,” referencing the private parts of the car’s owner.
“The first few times he wrote insults about my hygiene, I didn’t really care. Truth be told, I was filthy,” said the Corolla of Peltner. “But when he made a crack about my owner’s testicles, he stepped over a line that best not be crossed. Something had to be done.”
According to a timeline released by an attorney for the family, Peltner awoke Monday morning to find the face-washing taunt written on his red, irritated skin in 30 weight motor oil. Investigators from the Memphis Police Department believe the oil was applied to the boy’s face with either the Corolla’s dipstick or one of its new Rain-X wiper blades.
After photos were taken by crime scene detectives, the 15-year-old was seen scrubbing his face frantically in the bathroom sink while his mother sobbed uncontrollably on the floor.
“I wouldn’t wish this sort of pain and misery on any other parent in this neighborhood,” said Marsha Peltner, the victim’s mother. “To have a perennial J.D. Power and Associates award-winning automobile break into your home, commit a hate crime on your child’s face, and then leave skid-marks on your brand new Pergo flooring… Well, it’s a nightmare.”
While the majority of neighborhood residents have publicly spoken out against the Corolla’s vigilante behavior, many of their cars have applauded the charcoal grey sedan’s willingness to draw a long-overdue line in the sand.
“Peltner has been wreaking havoc on the neighborhood cars for years,” said a beige Mitsubishi Montero owned by Suzanne Jackson. “Just last month he wrote ‘I wish my girlfriend was this dirty’ on my passenger side window while my owners were on vacation. I felt like a damn whore for a whole week.”
A Nissan Altima owned by Daryl Sendeck, while not willing to engage in such retaliatory measures himself, saw the incident as a painful reminder for all involved that cars, trucks and SUVs simply want the same respect and consideration as the humans who drive them.
“I’m not a proponent of writing hurtful slogans, whether it be on a car or a face,” said the recently detailed Altima. “But I did find it fitting that the boy was taught a lesson in humility. After all, we can’t control when our owners wash us. But he can sure as hell control whether or not he uses that Neutrogena facial scrub his mom bought him four months ago.”