Friday, October 15, 2010

Talkin' 'Bout the Car Wash

Peer pressure is a strange thing.

Sometimes you just don't think
that you can possibly be swayed by it-
until your two best friends in high school
talk you into going to the dark parking lot
during a freshman football game-
(where the team lost pitifully)-
and share some cherry sloe gin
from a foam cup.

(Uh..not that I would know about that or anything.
I'm just sayin'...)

Or- like the fact that you've
gone through half of your adult life
not realizing you need Spanx
until your friend starts wearing them
and looks ten pounds lighter and gorgeous.

Then the pressure is on.

Believe it or not,
all that drivel is leading up to a blog post
about washing my car.

My sister Linda and her husband talked about
how they were going to wash and wax and shine
their vehicles over the weekend
and get them ready for winter.

"People do that?" I thought.
I hadn't even touched my car in weeks months years.
It still had dust on it from the tornado of 2001.

So, I caved to the peer pressure.
If Linda was doing it-
then it must be done.
My car was going to get washed!
No matter how many quarters I had to pump into
that freakin' crazy coin-eating box at Mister Soapy's.

First of all, I turned my house upside down
looking for spare change.
And defiled my purse.
I found a few sticky quarters in the cup holder,
a few dollars under the couch cushions,
and 50 cents in the bottom of the dryer.

I don't understand the pre-wash thing.
It's like washing your dishes before
putting them in the dishwasher.
It's just one step I think you can safely skip.
And I always do.

So, I always go straight to the soap button.
And, even though I'm a bit stout-
the pressure always sets me back
out of my flip flops for a minute.

Then, I realize that I'm going to have to
fish out some more quarters to use the foam brush-
because Mister Soapy's soap just isn't cutting
the layers of environmental grime on my white car.

I hate those foam brush things.
By the time I get all my quarters in the slot,
that gurgling thing is back in the corner
spewing out mountains of pink suds
the size of Mt. Helen!
And then-                                                     
by the time I wrestle the giant hose
and the slippery handle-
it simply starts leaking a little pink spit
that barely cuts the bug guts.

Speaking of bug guts-
why don't they make glue out of bugs?
It sticks so well and is almost impossible to remove-
(short of a jack hammer or a chain saw-
and that can certainly wreak havoc on the factory finish).

Here I am. Ten minutes later.
My jeans soaked up to the knee caps,
my hair spiked with pink foam residue
and my car doesn't even look clean.

And what's this stuff about a spotless rinse?
Don't they know I'm gonna hit
every mud hole, dust pile,
and tar pit on the way out of here?

it's time to clean the inside.

How does one accumulate so much
within the confines of such a small space?

I had books and mail and Sonic cups.
Dairy Queen napkins, water bottles,
duct tape, and deposit slips.
I had pennies and used tissues
and ant-infested french fries.

But- no worries.
The vacuums they have at Mister Soapy
are strong enough to clean the wax from your ears,
the lint from your belly button-
and even liposuction those problem areas
from your outer thighs.
(Not that I would know about that or anything.
I'm just sayin').

I accidentally sucked up a baby bottle
with one of those once.
Good thing the baby wasn't holding it at the time.

So, I finish at Mister Soapy's-
and when I get home-
I see a huge dirty spot on the passenger door
that was never even  touched 
by the skin-cutting water pressure.

Oh well,
I'll get it next year.