At the Car Wash

Lately, I’ve been traveling up and down Maryland’s highways to meet with pastors and our district leadership. I enjoy driving and no doubt, you’ll have the chance to read about some of my road adventures in upcoming blogs.

Now that the weather is cooler, I don’t mind as much where I park, but when the heat was so oppressive in the last few weeks, I would end up parking under the trees in my yard, hoping to keep my dark car cooler. The main disadvantage is that pollen, acorns, sap, and bird droppings fall freely on my car. I don’t like driving to meetings with a dirty car, in case some pastor might actually notice. I try to be professional, you know.

So the other day, I filled up my gas tank, getting a discount on a car wash. I thought, “Perfect!” and I rolled right up to the car wash area. I had to roll down my window a bit to enter a numeric code, and the automatic track starting pulling me forward.

Now, this is probably the time I should mention that my car, while a wonderful financial deal, was damaged and rebuilt before I bought it. The damage was not extensive and has been almost perfectly rebuilt, but the one tiny problem is the driver’s side window. (It doesn’t go back into its correct track, unless I roll it all the way down and all the way back up, while the car is stationary.)

Unfortunately, I had forgotten that when I rolled the window down partway to enter the car wash code. It wasn’t until the water jets started spraying the car and me in the driver’s seat, that I realized the window hadn't gone back up into its proper track. It was about two inches off from the rubber seal, so water was spraying all over my left side and running down the inside of the car window, door, and seat. About the time that I yelled “Aaaahhhh” and looked over to see the problem, the soap was spraying in. Of course, I was dressed in a business suit, so I started worrying about chemicals on my clothes and on the car seats.

After the soap came another round of spraying water, cold and wet. I was yelling again, when all the sudden I noticed the huge wax canisters coming up after a one-second respite from spraying hoses. The wax really scared me; long term damage to my upholstery and my person was completely possible! The only thing within my reach was a canvas tote bag, so I grabbed it and threw it up against the window, causing pens and small change to dump out all over me, but it did manage to catch most of the liquid wax.

It was probably only a minute and a half by the time the automatic track dumped my car wheels out on solid ground, but I was soaked, hair dripping into my face and adrenaline pumping. I had to take five minutes to wipe down the inside of the car with napkins rustled up from the glove box.

I chose to park my car in the bright sunshine when I got home, rather than under the trees. I figured that the car would dry better that way, and I wouldn’t need to wash it again anytime soon!

Ariel Rainey