“What do you do with a dirty car, dear Liza?”
“You wash it, dear Henry.”
“Where do I wash it, Dear Liza?”
“In a car wash, dear Henry.”
So, off I went to the car wash. I chose a warm day, the sun was shining, and the car wash was packed. The line-up went twice around the yard and I could see other cars circling, their drivers looking anxious. I came home – the car unwashed. The next day it was the same. The day after, a working day, I got up early, had a cup of coffee and was at the car wash before 9:00 am, only to find a large sign announcing Sorry – Car Wash Closed. I came home again.
This morning, I again got up early, drove into town, went to the gas station, and stopped at a pump. I didn’t want to get gas if I couldn’t get a car wash – reciprocal points and all that – so I went into the office and asked if the car wash was working. It was. I filled up with gas, went in to pay, and ordered a car wash. A triumph – or was it?
I drove round to the car wash entrance and typed in my code. The light turned green, the door lifted up, and I drove slowly in. No undercoat wash to greet me. No lights came on. The door didn’t close behind me. The mechanical octopus didn’t wave its arms in the direction of my car. I drove out, backwards, the way I had come in, and tried again. Nothing.
I typed in the code once more only to get the Illegal Code sign. I pressed the button on the Intercom, A young lady answered and said she’d be right out and out she came. She looked at the machine, the open door, the lack of lights and told me she’d find somebody to fix it. And she did.
A minute or two later, the man who had first served me, re-appeared. He asked me a quick couple of questions, then walked bravely into the car wash. He tapped the door. Inspected the octopus, double checked the screen, then went to a large switch board at the back of the car wash. He fiddled around, pressed some buttons, the light came on – and so did the water – soaking him from top to bottom. He flicked another switch and the water stopped.
He told me to wait while he got me a new code. Then he punched it in for me. The lights came on, I drove in, everything happened the way it was meant to, and I drove out through the hot air blower with a nice clean car. As I came out, a rather soggy car wash attendant waved at me. I smiled and waved back. then I drove home – my car as good as new and me safe and warm inside.