Saturday, March 2, 2013

A White Knuckle Day

"There's something really horrible going on here, Mom!"

My car was a disgusting mess, covered with bird poop and other odious congealed effluvia, and I can’t really wash it at my house.  Well, I could, but hose and parking logistics make it difficult, so I usually go to my aunt’s house for this irksome task.  The prospect is made even more uninviting by the current inclement weather.  Where are all those high school chess club fund raisers when you want them?  

I would long ago gone to the giant automatic car wash place, but there is something so dreadful about whole experience that I couldn’t face it.  When Rachael was wee, she was terrified the first (and only) time we took her through one.  Rebecca thought it was because Rachael was only three, but I knew that it was because the car wash is, in fact, actually terrifying. Even just going in to pay in advance is a horrible ordeal.  I had been hinting to Rebecca on our outings that we should go through the car wash, which I could endure with her there to give moral support, and she always said okay, she would, but “mañana.”  Since I was so repulsed every time I got in my über-dirty car, I finally decided to go to Aunt Pauline’s and do it the old fashioned way.  I called Rebecca to see if she wanted to visit with Pauline for a bit and help wash the car, but she thought it was way too cold.  “Let’s go to the car wash!” she said.  So we did. 

It was as horrible as I expected.  Margaret agreed about this.  First there is ordeal at the cash register where you get your secret number.  Then the fear of putting in the number wrong. Next you have to drive to the exact right spot in the horrid mechanism.  Far enough but not too far.  Then the roaring starts, and the car seems to be moving of its own volition. (This is the most hideous aspect of the whole ordeal.) The car moves backwards, forwards, and up and down, as one sits there, petrified, with clenched fists, white knuckles, and the foot firmly on the brake, checking frequently to see that the hand brake is on.   Rebecca thought this was incredibly amusing and was delightedly snapping pictures and giving a running commentary on what the machines were doing, and how Margaret (who didn’t like it either) and I should get a grip.

Praying for deliverance!

What a relief when it finally was over, and we drove off in our clean (until the next bird passes by) car.


I. F. said...

We have always loved going through the car wash! Though I would agree that getting the secret code and lining up the wheels exactly where they want them is a bit stressful. But so worth it when the adventure begins and the rainbow colored soap splatters over the windshield.

Laura said...

Love this hilarious because it is so true post! I haven't gone to a car wash for years due to same hang ups... now never!

Pru said...

Sometimes it's worth the extra $$ to go to a really fancy car wash where a valet opens you car door, you step out and he checks off the wash you select, and then you wait inside a heated/air conditioned (depending on the season) area while you watch from behind a plate glass window as your car inches through the wash with all the pretty colored goops and foams squirting from multiple directions and no brushes or flaps slapping at you while you cringe inside the car. If you're lucky there will also be an espresso machine and if you're REALLY lucky some stale pastries to munch on while a small army of lint-free cloth wielding dryers and polishers swarm over your car, delivering it to you in pristine condition about 10 minutes later. Think of it as performance art (the cost can be comparable). I generally splurge about once a year and drive around in a filthy car the rest of the time.

Marta said...

This is so funny. You know, you could drive out to MacKenzie Acres and do it the old fashioned way.