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Spending time (and money) at the car wash

A few days ago I decided it was time to take my vehicle to the car wash. After all this is the season for puddles, unexpected snowstorms, sleet, mud, more snow, slush, and did I mention snow. (It’s been a long winter.)

I was glad that I had time to spare because the line-ups for the touchless car wash were long. The one that I chose had five vehicles ahead of me, but there was no point in waiting because I had barely pulled up when three more slid in behind me. Apparently I was not the only one tired of looking at a dirt-encrusted vehicle upon which wayward children had drawn smiley faces and scribbled sarcastic “Wash me” messages.

I had been anticipating a crowd so I had come prepared and brought along a book to read. Even so, the line-up was slow to advance and I realized that I might be giving up a good portion of my afternoon in the quest for a clean set of wheels. “Oh well, everyone is in the same predicament,” I thought.

But then I saw it. There, three vehicles ahead of me, was a perfectly clean black car, with barely a speck of dirt on it. If my SUV was half as clean as that car when I arrived back at the farm, I would be thrilled. What in the world was that spotless car doing in this line-up? (More specifically, my line-up.) What a waste of money, not to mention time (again, my time). While other muddy and shabby looking vehicles were waiting for a clean-up, this one looked sorely out of place. Was it only here to mock the rest of us?

Then I thought to myself (and, yes, I was being judgemental), “It’s probably some senior citizen who had nothing better to do this afternoon and couldn’t stand the thought of some salt clinging to the underside of their car.”

Imagine my surprise when a thirty something gal emerged from the car to stretch her legs. Obviously, she lived in the city because no vehicle that had travelled on any rural grid road or even the highways in recent days could have emerged in such pristine condition.

There was nothing I could do but watch as that shiny black car moved ahead of me into the car wash, exiting several minutes later, whereupon the young lady stepped out, went to her trunk and produced an assortment of cloths with which she dried every inch of that car.

But while I may complain about those folks who use the car wash needlessly, I have to confess that I have my own quirks when it comes to a clean vehicle. After emerging from the car wash, I am that annoying lady who slows down to a crawl when I have to cross any water puddle thus avoiding splash-ups.

After all, it would be nice if my $12 car wash could last longer than two minutes.