How does one go from changing diapers to feigning bachelorette-hood? They spend a lot of time at work and calling old friends just to say hi, that’s how. The weekends scare me. I shoot out of bed on the weekend, get into my car, and make up something I need to do. One weekend, I “really” need a car wash.

The majority of car washes in town appear to be self-service. I’m looking for that hands-on treatment.. or some human interaction. I finally submit to a little shop where the conveyor is already running. Vacuuming is priced so I assume someone is going to meet me at the front. The sign says, “Put car in neutral and align tires with track. Do not activate breaks.” Okay. I go ahead and let the car wash take the wheel.

While I think the slow ride is going to be relaxing, my thoughts suppressing under the deep slaps of the mega mops, I’m actually freaking out. There are life-like automated figures smiling and waving at me. The commotion is heavy. I shut my ears and eyes waiting for it to be over. When I come out of the water inferno, a loud alarm goes off.

“Woah! What are you doing!?” This short bald guy is stumbling out of his office. “You don’t just drive through!”

“Well, I don’t know! No one was there. The sign said to pull up,” I exclaim.

“No, you don’t just drive through!” The bags under his eyes are pulsating.

“Alright,” pipes a tall gentle blonde kid. “Why don’t you just come around. Meet me in the back. I’ll take care of you.”

I drive around and pay for a basic wash. I guess my wheels weren’t actually aligned and I could have done the conveyor some good damage.

I get done with the wash and the kid tells me to have a good rest of my day.

“So.. do I vacuum myself?” I ask him.

“Yep,” he says nicely.

“Are they off to the side?”

“Yep, just make a sharp right. They’re all there.”

I pull out rolling by a long line of tangled yellow caution tapes. I park my car and get out to get a better look. None of the vacuums have nozzles.

“Is there anything else I can help you with, ma’am?” The bald guy is on his tiptoes peeking over the brick wall that separates the entrance to the conveyor from the Kohl’s parking lot the car wash is sitting in.

“Are the vacuums broken?” I ask.

“Yep, they’re all broken.”

I’m thinking of another question not to find answers but because I’m enjoying the conversation.

“Have a nice day,” he says.

And he stands there watching for me to drive off.

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