Monday, June 02, 2008


I’m concerned. I did something so out of character for me yesterday that I am questioning my sanity. I don’t know what caused me to lose it like that, so I am worried that I might someday have another attack of lunacy and do something really stupid.

You could count on half the fingers of you left hand (or your right if you are so inclined) the number of times in my life that I have washed a car. I don’t mean taking it to the carwash and driving it through the machine. I mean getting out the hose and the brush and the chamoix and the rags and actually going through the process of washing the car. I’ve always considered that one of the most useless, meaningless, ridiculous, futile exercises ever invented by man. Consider: as soon as you take the car out on the road it is going to get dirty all over again. If it rains within a day or two of your cleaning effort, you will be cursing the heavens for dirtying your car. Why bother with the frustration. Leave the car spotted and streaked and covered with the detritus of a well-used vehicle and be done with it.

Cars were made to be driven, not washed. Cars are transportation, not showpieces, unless you are engaged in a custom car show where the object is to dazzle the gawkers with the gleam of your chrome. Then and only then, is it permissable to take the time and expend the effort to wash and wax and shine a car. Otherwise, get a life.

So realizing where my attitude about carwashing lies, how do I explain my radical actions of yesterday. Ok, you say what’s the big deal? Washing a car isn’t earthshattering. But I failed to mention that I didn’t wash just one car. And if you’re thinking that two cars washed still isn’t beyond the pale, keep counting. We currently have four, count em, four, vehicles of various descriptions clogging the garage and driveway. We have the sedan, the minivan, the pickup and the visiting sedan. The first three are ours, the last one is our daughter-in-law’s, which is occupying garage space while son and daughter-in-law are on vacation. So, as not to show favoritism to any one of the aforementioned vehicles, I lost all sense of proportion and washed them all.

Perhaps it was the beautiful day, full of sunshine and warmth. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to go in the house where Mary was engaged in window washing (second on my list of ridiculous chores) and fearing that I would be dragooned into helping her, I opted to stay outside and look like I was doing something useful. I figured if she was watching me from inside, I could earn a few more husband points in the process, since she considers a clean car second only to a clean house. She has been known to lavish undo attention on all our cars and vans and trucks, even doing the occasional body work to restore them to their showroom quality. I am not ashamed to admit that I let her wash my truck whenever she wants to. It’s the least I can do to help her maintain her own sanity. But for me to get so carried away as she often does, is frightening. Maybe all these years of her goading and haranguing me about keeping the cars clean has finally seeped into my brain. Maybe my brainwashing is complete.

So now my greatest worry is that I am susceptible to the power of suggestion. If I can be brainwashed into washing cars, what’s next?
Washing windows? Shampooing carpets? Wallpapering? Voting Republican? If that happens, please put me out of my misery. Just be sure the hearse is clean and shining.


Carrie said...

Ride a bike! RIDE YOUR BIKE! Bikes are much easier to keep clean. You can even use them to decorate your apartment/house.

tamakikat said...

Classic! Made me laugh.