Thursday, January 29, 2009

Car Wash

As a newly single person, I noticed that the car was dirty. In fact, it was dirty enough to obscure its color along with the number on the license plate. It really needed attention.

The last time I washed a car, our children who are now over forty were preschoolers, and seventy-five cents paid for a self service car wash in Green Bay. It was before 1970.

I thought about this problem for several days this week before deciding that I had to take care of it, since I could not hand the job off to a husband who was no longer in residence. I could go to the car wash where people actually wash the car, or I could try the self service operation at the gas station. I had no idea how it would work in either place. I wondered what kind of fool I would make of myself at the car wash when I had to do what most guys do on a regular basis.

The occasion presented itself while I was driving along on Park Street. I saw the familiar Octopus sign, so I drove in and said, “Here I am. Now tell me what to do next.” The man told me the list of services and gave me a little ticket. I drove into the steam, where six men suddenly opened the doors and quickly started to clean the interior and exterior, while I looked at them with some amazement. It hadn’t occurred to me that a bunch of guys would move in so fast. I bailed out, went down the hall, paid, and awaited my car.

The job was done well and quickly, and I didn’t have to do anything. What a deal. Except for the part when I couldn’t release the hand brake because the guy who set it was very strong. He had to get back in and release it so that I could get my car out of their shop. I left with some appreciation for the speed of the job. I also decided that the octopus logo is really a description of what happens when the car gets washed. Six guys are sort of like the arms of the octopus.

I hope the car stays clean for a while. It looks very good.

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