Misadventures At The Self Car Wash

You don't go to the self car wash on a whim. You make a plan, and bring your own gear. I would know these things if I were a guy. Guys, it seems, know all about Self Car Washes. But since I'm just a mom in a minivan, I learned these things the hard way.

I knew we were in trouble when the token machine started blinking SORRY, OUT OF ORDER! after giving me less than half the tokens I paid for. But I pressed on, doggedly vacuuming out the van, gritting my teeth upon discovering the cache of filth under James' booster seat.

And then Jude stepped on broken glass. It went straight through his Crocs and sliced his foot. Well, I may not be prepared for the car wash, but, gosh-darnit, I am prepared for disasters!

I whipped out my First Aid kit, sprayed the cut, slapped on a band-aid. Bam. Disaster averted.

I was feeling very proud of myself until I noticed the line of cars forming behind me. I glanced around to realize I was the only Mom with a minivan. I've washed my own car plenty of times. But that was before I drove Bonnie Bleu (yes, I've named my van). The men around me were methodical, focused, handling the sprayer and foam brush like pros.

"Ju know how?" a guy asked me, pointing at the menu options for the wash. His English was better than my Spanish, so I was grateful for his help.

"Deese? Reense!" he pointed at the power sprayer. "Deese? Soap!" He pointed at the foaming brush. "Deese? Por de dye-ers!" He jabbed a finger at my tires.

"Ok, thanks."

"Ju Ok?"

"Si. Gracias."

He nodded and went back to washing his car. I plugged in the few remaining tokens and the foam brush sprang to life, spewing great chunks of soap all over the floor of the car wash. Yikes. I cranked the switch to power sprayer.

"RIGHTEOUS!" Jude yelled as I grabbed the sprayer. Like cartoon characters being flipped around at the end of a fire hose, Jude and I careened around shrieking and spraying willy-nilly.

I should have charged money for this show.

Finally, soaked through and sudsed up from wrestling with the foam brush, we pulled the car out into the sun. The whole thing dried in 2.5 minutes. Into a million little water spots.

"You're using a baby blanket?" Jude asked, in consternation, as I dashed around frantically slathering the van with a receiving blanket.

Desperate times, son.

Next to me, a young guy was applying the wax-on-wax-off treatment to his souped-up truck. Good thing he was too focused on his detailing to notice the blithering idiot racing around with baby blankets.

Next time I'm bringing my own man. And a foot-ladder.