At the Car Wash ... by C.L. Beck

"Car Wash" © Hu Totya, Wikimedia Commons

Today we're discussing the vastly important topic of dwindling planetary food supplies and the need to have a year's food storage in order to survive the upcoming famine. But first, let's talk about something of even greater impact ... washing cars!

Most days my SUV looks like it was born in a mud hole and raised by the three little pigs. However, a week ago I decided to bite the bullet and take on the onerous task of washing the Nighthawk.

No, I wasn't planning on hosing down those little birds that fly overhead in the evening. "Nighthawk" is the nickname for our black SUV. Black being a relative term, since the car was so covered in dust it looked more like a large lump of burned out charcoal.

At any rate, I pondered the logistics of the event. Get out a bucket of soapy water; drag out the hose; battle Corky Porky Pie, the dog, who thinks a jet of water is a demon; chase off the resident bees by spraying a stream of water at them; take Corky Porky to the vet to have the hose disentangled from his teeth; take myself to the emergency room for multiple bee stings ... or ... (tiny trumpets herald in the distance) ....

Ta-da! Take the car to the car wash!

Now I know that one does not have to be a Harvard graduate nor a genius the caliber of Nancy Pelosi to drive a car through the car wash. However, I've always found it's better to have a second person in attendance in case the car bucks and throws its transmission out of whack on that metal thingy. You know—the one that's designed to stop a person from driving totally through the car wash and into the wall on the other side. Not that I would know from experience about driving into a cement wall.

For that reason, I invited along my husband, Russ, who is neither a Harvard graduate nor resembles Nancy Pelosi. Well, except maybe for that wild-eyed, "I'm almost ready for the state mental institution" look that they both have in common. But ... that's a topic for another time.

We drove to the car wash. It’s conveniently located just outside my optometrist's office, should one ever need a car wash and an eye exam at the same time. After nearly sideswiping the metal vacuum cleaners—yes, those ones that resemble something from the old TV show, Lost in Space—Russ stopped the SUV. I thought about asking him if he wanted to step over for a visit with Dr. Brian but when I opened my mouth to speak, Russ gave me that wild-eyed Nancy Pelosi look.

I reconsidered.

Russ stepped out of the Nighthawk and plunked 75¢ into the vacuum canister to start it. I opened the door, clapped my hands on my ears, and over a roar rivaling that of a C-130 military transport yelled, "How much time do you get for 75¢?"

“At least five or ten …”

The rest of Russ’s words were drowned out as the vacuum cleaner’s pitch and volume rose. Dust swirled around us and the machine started blowing bits of bubble gum and cigarette butts out its other end. I ran over to see if I could help—just in time for the vacuum cleaner to end its cycle.

“That’s it?” I looked at Russ in disbelief. “We got thirty seconds for 75¢? That sucks!”

“You don’t need to yell anymore,” Russ said, holding his head as if I’d broken his eardrums. “And, no, it didn’t really suck. All it did was spit out someone else’s previously vacuumed dirt.”

We stood in the hot sun, staring at the machine for five minutes more, debating whether it really sucked or not, and then I noticed a slight movement at Dr. Brian’s window. I peered through my sunglasses—which unfortunately did not fit over the new glasses Dr. Brian sold me—and considered whether we were being watched. But since my new glasses were hooked into the top button of my shirt so I wouldn’t lose them, rather than sitting on my nose so I could see, everything looked blurry.

Calling over my shoulder to Russ, I said, "Do you think Dr. Brian can see us over here?"

"Naw. And even if he could, why would he want to spend time watching people at the car wash? You're just being paranoid."

I stared at the blurry windows and wondered—just because a person is paranoid, does it mean that someone isn't watching? I wasn't so sure ....

[Stay tuned for the rest of the story in two weeks. In the meantime, drop off a comment and tell me if you’ve ever encountered a vacuum that sucked—or didn’t as the case may be—and whether or not you’ve had that prickly-feeling-on-the-back-of-the-neck that tells you someone is watching.]

------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

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Triple Nickel said...

Will Corky Porky Pie survive? I can't wait!!!!!
Great blog!

Carol L. said...

lol lol Another hysterical blog post that I now have to wait two weeks for the ending ? The Dr Brian part had me laughing like an insane woman. I can't wait for the ending. lol lol
Carol L.

Melinda said...

People at the doctor's office probably are watching! And, being quite entertained. They want to see how many quarters you will put in until you realize the vacuum doesn't work at all!

Karlene said...

I hate it when you leave us hanging! I just know part 2 will be hilarious!

Melanie said...

So, we had a carpoolee who launched from the back of my mini van and hit the dash. My then two year old was covered. EEEW! I wasn't sure if I should be impressed by his olympic lunching marks or join him. However, after hitting two different carwashes to use their carpet shampooers, I wouldn't recommend it. People who don't want to use their own stuff for cleaning up yucky stuff use that shampoo stuff. I'm sure anyone watching me would have joined by heaving sessions. Whew! Shake it off!