Before I get too far in this post I have to make a clarifying statement. I am afraid of car washes. Me a person who can manage a big project, Me who can chair meetings and can speak up in front of a crowd of people. Me who can and does take on anyone in a battle of words and not back down. Me who has tackled many a scary encounter with unsavory individuals. Yes I’m afraid of car washes.
Part of it I’m sure comes from claustrophobia. I was stuck in an elevator for over half an hour as a kid when I needed to pee. BAD. Oh yeah, don’t like elevators either, or driving over open pits at the Jiffy Lube. Is that so bad?
Anyway, I was doing my Mother’s shopping as usual and noticed I was low on gas, getting real low, soooo I decided to stop at the closest gas station to the store and filled up Freddy’s belly and for some UNGODLY reason decided to purchase a car wash.
I normally avoid them like the plague. I would MUCH rather hand wash my car any day but Freddy was getting gross. Even though it’s been raining a thousand years here in the Vancouver area and rain isn’t exactly the ideal weather to wash one’s car, I wanted to knock at least a layer of dirt off of Freddy. I sucked up my nerve and drove up the alley to the car wash and to my horror it was the kind that you have to aim your tires onto a ramp on a track that pulls you through. Great. Another challenge when I’m already nervous, not good. Bad juju!
I directed my tires onto the ‘ramp’ and positioned myself where I believe I am properly between the rails and entered my code as instructed. It told me to put the car in neutral and relax, yeah right relax. The damn car didn’t move, however the car wash started spraying and spinning. Uhh… now what? So I think maybe I’m supposed to pull forward more or? huh..
So I tried to move forward just a bit and oops end up over the rail on the other side and find myself well and truly stuck. I must have been slightly off centre and that last little move of mine put me up and over. Me of normally good judgment and I’m in this fine pickle. Now I know how a turtle on it’s back feels.
I tried to reverse off but without being able to see very well (reallyyyy dark back there) and being a wee bit too close to a pole I decided to press the button and call for HELP. This disembodied voice comes over the speaker and I said “Uh yeah, I seem to be a little stuck here” he assured me he would be right out. I sat there feeling like a complete and total dork. He comes over and asks “What seems to be the problem?”
I would think it would be obvious.
I point out my predicament and he stifled a chuckle and directs me to turn my wheel just so and then put the car in reverse and pop back a bit. I do this and then straighten the wheel out. He then asks me for my code and I tell him adding that the car wash had actually already go ahead and washed the air ahead of me.
After I told him it I did as instructed and that it didn’t pull me forward he hits a manual override button and it finally goes ahead and sucks me into the bad bad place. As I was slowly moving he asks me to drive round to the office when I’m done. I nod dumbly too traumatized by my experience to do anything else. It was a quick wash, I didn’t want to sit through a long one.
After the car wash releases me from it’s watery death grip I drove round and he comes over with a coupon for another wash so I could run it through again. He said it looks like I missed some of the water in the beginning (it was slow to pull my car in) I thanked him nicely but said “Oh well no, appreciate the offer but I’m not going through THAT again!” He asked me if I was afraid of it. Rather than explain I just nodded, smiled and drove away.
K, from now on I am SO not going to that station again. I’m sure he got a good laugh out of it though.