Sunday, September 18, 2005

a dirty little tale

ahh...the weekend. time to rest, recuperate, and relax.

or, in my case, time to get up early, stay up late, and work in between.

lather, rinse, repeat.

actually, i did that this weekend, too.

since i couldn't begin to tell you the last time i washed my car, (though judging from the inch-thick "protective" covering of dirt, i'm guessing it was about four months ago), i figured it was time to haul out the ol' sponge and soap and go to town.

when i was little, daddy would let us help wash the car every couple of weeks. my sibling and i would each get to use a little sponge to clean whatever we could reach, while daddy was in charge of concocting the carwashing elixir (dishwashing detergent and water) and reaching the high places- like the roof. thankfully, he'd also take care of waxing the car- something i wish he'd do now, as paste wax and i are not friends.

as time passed and i went off to college, my carwashing routine changed. first, during my first couple of years of school, i was carless. since i went to a fairly small school in a fairly small town and lived on campus, i didn't really need a car. when i came home on weekends to work at the shoes store, i didn't really have much free time to haul out the soap and hose and go to town.

i finally got the sundance toward the end of my college career, and i recall washing it a couple of times....i'm sure i roped in a roommate to help once or twice.

(settle down boys- it wasn't quite the college co-ed carwashing depicted in movies of a suggestive nature. really.)

anyway, when i moved to south carolina a few years ago, the sundance was washed twice that i can recall- once with a former flame (he was still a flame at the time, though not for long) who informed me that my technique was all wrong and that i should wash from the roof of the car down, as the dirt tends to collect at the lower levels. (i still use this helpful hint....though that boy is history, not to be repeated as long as i have good sense.)

then, i got my current chariot. when i bought my new car four years ago, i promised myself that i'd handwash it once a month.

so, two months later (i didn't get proper supplies until christmas), there i was. and there the car, the hose, and my new washing potion, bucket, sponges, interior protectant, chamois, and paste wax were. (and my tire cleaner, though i've never really understood why one really needs tire cleaner. tires touch the ground- they get dirty. having sparkling clean tires just says "i'm a neat freak with way too much time on my hands." but i digress....)

you know what? using paste wax is a royal pain in the ass. i soon understood why ralph macchio reacted with less than exuberance when pat morita instructed him to "wax on, wax off" back in the 80s.

all right. i'll wash my car every other month, then. i mean really, how dirty can a car get in a couple of months?

so, about six months later (i really dreaded dealing with the paste wax again.), there i was. and there the car, the hose, and my almost new washing potion, bucket, sponges, interior protectant, chamois (which was "like new", as i'd given up using it the first time and gone with a towel instead), and paste wax were.

two and a half hours later, my car was clean again. however, during the cleaning process, i discovered that my paint job already had a few little nicks in it, which left me distressed. so distressed, in fact, that two hours and thirty five minutes after i'd started, there was fresh touch up paint drying on my car. (i have since decided that in another year, when my car is five years old and totally paid off, i will splurge on a new paint job.)

in the past three years since that cleansing, i think my car's been washed about five times. (i'm a bad, bad owner.)

today made washing number six, which was long overdue, since during washing number five, i accidentally left some wax on the car which turned bright white after just a few days.

so, there i was again. and there the car (complete with fossilized bird crap, bug guts, some sort of tree sap, little black spots that i have yet to figure out how to remove, and my bright white waxy reminders of my last carwashing attempt), the hose (with one of those fancy adjustable spray nozzles), my carefully aged washing potion, bucket, sponges (one in far better shape than the other), interior protectant, chamois, and paste wax were.

my bird crap covered vehicle

i only had about an hour to play with, so i decided right off the bat to spare myself the pain and agony of dealing with the paste wax. it was just as well, because it took three good scrubbings to get most of the other stuff (the black spots and some of the tree sap won that battle) off of my car.

since, as you've read, i don't wash my car all that frequently, i figured the act was worth capturing as my "picture of the day" on my other blog. so, i said, "hey- would you mind taking a couple fo pictures of me so i can use one as a "picture of the day"?" my accomplice was happy to oblige. perhaps a little too happy.

when i reviewed the pictures, a disturbing pattern emerged.

it appears my photographer was focusing more on my school spirit than the fact that my car was finally getting washed. (it is worth noting that said photographer has a slight obsession with asu.)
anyway, i told him to stop photographing my ass, and he came up with this:

which shows off my wet pants (which a couple of you folks have searched for lately- a disturbing trend that i thought had died out), as well as a decent looking thigh muscle. (sorry, boys- i probably should know it's technical name, but, alas, that section of my brain is devoted to memorizing the menu at moe's (in case i get hungry while at work) and recalling lyrics to obscure 80s tunes.)

finally, i took matters (and by "matters", i mean "the camera") into my own hands and snapped this:

in addition to my all-too-willing photographer, a couple of coworkers wound up outside while i scrubbed the bird crap off of my car. the first asked questions about my goals ( not have to live in a cardboard box with twenty have a torrid affair with val write my best selling get this freaking bird crap off my car), but the second commented (as i was bending over to reach a spot that my short arms couldn't get to otherwise), "just what a brotha needs- a sista to wash his car and look fine doin' it."

well, then.

so, an hour after i'd started, the car was clean, but i was both soaking wet and filthy.

perhaps i'll get around to waxing it next time- though by then, it should be about time for that new paint job.


ltlme said...

tire cleaner is spray on and walk away......just because one uses it does not mean that the person is anal. not that i would know.....*pushes tire cleaner to back of cabinet*

duff said...

sibling: i get the whole "spray and walk away" thing- i even used the stuff once.

however, why is it necessary for one's sidewalls to gleam like pavement after a rainstorm? they're tires. they get dirty. it's not like anyone's going to be eating off of them.

Chele said...

This is a two-wrencher.

One to pop you with. through the car wash before you have an accident behind that "protective" layer of durt on it. lol

*handing Duff a wrench* The other for you to use as a conductor's baton to direct the person holding the camera lol

duff said...

chele: i can't bring myself to blow money on a drive-thru wash that won't knock off all the dirt anyway.

a drive-thru wax job, however, sounds like a good idea.

thanks for the wrenches. i can certainly put them to good use.

Labbie said...

Thigh Muscle = Quadriceps

Gluteus Maximus = Go Sun Devils!

Jo said...

One of the benefits (oh wait, the ONLY benefit) of working at a gas station was that we got a free automatic car wash ever car was pretty clean for a long time!!! Now I just leave it out in the rain...

Oswald Croll said...

I have an urge to enroll at Arizona State now....hhhmmmmmm


jamwall said...

i don't understand...what about the sun devils?

gesmifcl <--- you can say that again!

ltlme said...

perhaps some of us in this world like knowing that if we needed to eat off of our sidewalls, we could.

word verification: sumhozby

duff said...

lab boy: quads...i should've known that.

jo: i tried leaving it out in the rain.....then the birds kept crapping on it as soon as the rain let up.

oswald: actually, my degrees were earned elsewhere. however, i imagine that eventually i'll wind up in arizona and sooner or later, i'll decide i need some sort of graduate degree......

see you in class......

jamwall: aha- i see no subliminal messages get by you unnoticed.

sibling: if things ever get that desperate, just call and i'll buy you some tacos instead.

bricotrout said...

last year i found aspen (not autumn)sitting on the hood of my car. i asked her to carefully climb off. as it turns out, the back pockets had large bubble rivets in the corners. by the number of gouges i counted in my hood i would say she must have been sitting on that hood for 45 minutes.

duff said...

bricotrout: aspen...autumn...autumn...aspen

from now on, i will call any and all of your offspring "fred".

jamwall said...

i'm all about sublimibabbabinal messages!

decofnml <----don't just get decaffinated coffee, get decof nml!!!

duff said...

brocotrout: i thought it was your was of saying you thought the art deco movement was phenomenal.

jamwall said...

there appears to be a lot of movement in these pics, we usually see: ASS, SUN DEVILS, ASS, SUN DEVILS, ASS, SUN DEVILS, CAR, ASS, SUN DEVILS, HOSE.

gotta keep your eyes peeled to successfully pick out the "sun devils" part. *whew!* i'm exhausted!