Monday, October 10, 2011

A Rocky Carwash

Not long ago I got a sprinkler system installed at our new home.  I'm not looking for a golf-course fairway lawn, but I don't really want all my grass to die either.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to move my car out of the driveway when they were installing the water lines, as this required a large cutting tool to dig the trenches - think giant chainsaw - and as the soil here abounds in rocks, there was much dirt and slivers of rock cast onto my car.

I'm not fastidious about keeping my car in showroom condition, but having a coating of dirt all over the car was a bit more than I could take, so I decided it was time to wash the car.  In Colorado Springs there was a great automatic car wash down the road that was only $3, but I wasn't sure where to find a good cheap car wash here, so I figured I would be washing Christine by hand.  Then one day on the way to the library I stopped to get gas, and the pump offered me $1 off a car wash with my fill up.  A quick glance around revealed that there was indeed a car wash co-located, and it was touchless.  Knowing that touchless car washes are closer to $10, and being cheap, I decided to see if I could find a traditional car wash.

A couple of nights later, I awoke to a heavy rain.  Unable to go back to sleep, I figured what the heck, and I threw on some shorts and, having filled a bucket with soapy water, I proceeded to wash the car in the rain.  I figured the rain would give it a good rinse and save me the work.  All went well, to include the rain letting up to a drizzle until right after I finished running around the car in the dark, wiping her down as quickly as possible, before resuming it's downpour as I finished.  I looked over the clean car with satisfaction, took a shower and got on with my day.

The next day I noticed a couple of scratches on my door that hadn't been there before, and realized that some of the fine rock chips had been rubbed into the paint in the dark.  I wasn't going to lose any sleep over a couple of scratches on a car that's past it's prime.  Then I noticed more scratches.  A walk around the car revealed that in the cloak of darkness I had scratched my car all over the place, and especially right on the hood of the car.  All that frantic rubbing to get the invisible in the dark dirt off had also been grinding invisible in the dark rock into the sheet metal.  Every time I walk past the passenger side I have 20 white circles crescending down the hood to remind me I was too cheap to pay for a touchless car wash, even with an extra dollar off!   I hate irony sometimes.