Car wash catastrophe is still fresh


My car is filthy. Mud, oil, sludge, crud and goop have spread a patina over the entire car. Moreover, salt has turned the whole shebang a grubby white.

Still, I’m hesitant to drive through the car wash. Rewind to a previous life in Minnesota. Back then, my car was so filthy that I couldn’t remember what color it was. I couldn’t keep the windshield clear even with repeated cleanings.

“Enough is enough!” I announced to my wife. “I’m taking this beast to the car wash. All my wife said as I stomped out the door was, “Are you sure…”

I have finished that sentence a hundred different ways throughout the years, and though I’ll never know exactly what she said after the door shut behind me, it probably had something to do with the fact that it was 25 below zero.

I drove to the carwash, paid my two dollars and drove in. The first thing that happened was steam – inside the car. All the frost and ice inside and out vaporized and fogged up the inside to hot shower proportions. I was literally dripping wet by the time the wash finished.

The next thing was a freeze-up at the exit door. Steam on the inside of the carwash froze the door shut. I had to honk my horn for a full 10 minutes before someone came to my rescue with a hammer and a chisel.

Even so, I was downright proud of my clean car on the drive home. It wasn’t until I pulled into the driveway and tried to open the door that I realized what my wife was probably trying to tell me. I was frozen solidly inside the car.

It took two neighbors 20 minutes with buckets of hot water to get me out. It took five years to forget the laughter.


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