At the carwash

A muskmelon that I harvested from the garden yesterday

I’m a loose cannon sometimes. Like when I drive up to a carwash that I’ve used before and everything’s completely different.

We motored up to the keypad and input the number on our receipt. No problem. Worked just the same as usual. But everything went downhill from there. My husband began instructing me to move forward at the same time that I took notice of the fact that there were no longer any “tracks.” You know, those handly little metal tracks that you drive your car onto and some sort of mechanism guides your car along while you sit back and enjoy the foamy fun. They were gone. Vanished. Poof.

So there’s Scott saying, “OK. Move forward.” And there’s me, baffled. Where am I moving forward to? THERE ARE NO TRACKS, YOU LOONY! He prods me again. I press the accelerator. He scolds me, “Slowly.” Slowly? Like I’m going to zoom into the carwash full tilt. Of course I’m going slowly, but I still don’t know WHERE I’m going to.

Water begins hitting the side of the car. From where, I have no clue. And the annoying man in the passenger seat continues to tell me to move forward. Slowly. That’s when the demons kick in, when I start YELLING.

What happened to the carwash? When did they change things? What the hell? This is stupid! Where am I supposed to go? WHERE ARE THE TRACKS, DAMMIT???!!!

Scott’s looking at me like I’ve flipped my wig. Which I have. Because a carwash is not supposed to require any work from me. So we creep forward — SLOWLY — several feet until we’re about halfway into the building and finally (finally!) a lighted sign is activated that says, Pull Foward. OK. More pulling forward until I get my wheels aligned in this tiny little track that’s about one foot long.

Then the lighted sign says Stop. So I stop and these odd skinny orange vertical towers begin to shoot water at my car. Apparently this new and improved carwash consists of you just sitting in the middle of the building while these orange towers do all the moving. They spray water, foam, more water, then some really funky psychedelic foam, then waxy stuff. Then you Pull Forward again and creep through the dryer.

I guess I now have it all figured out. But I still don’t like it. The entertainment of the traditional carwash is gone (except for the pink/blue/yellow foam…that was indeed entertaining). Don’t go changing things on me, Shell station. It makes me grumpy. It causes me to scream at my husband like a banshee. Let that be a lesson to all of you with thoughts of changing things on me. It’s not a pretty sight.