Since I bought my car last summer, it had never occurred to me to get one a car wash. “I’m not one of those superficial people who cares what his car looks like,” I thought. “Who really cares? I will not get sucked into this L.A. car culture. A car is a purely functional thing.” But I was going on a date that started while the sun was still up, and my dark green Honda Accord was almost yellow from pollen stains. It dawned on me that even if I didn't care, my passengers might.
I hadn’t been to a car wash since I was little, when staying in the car as it went through the mechanical car wash next to the Burger King on Connecticut Ave. was almost as exciting as a ride at Disney World. Do those things still exist? Apparently they do.
On my way to the date I saw a car wash for $6. It was worth every penny. It was still very fun. The suspense I felt over whether the water would slip through some crack in the exterior was similar to the suspense I feel while watching a movie and the hero is in danger — you know nothing’s going to happen but you can’t help feeling nervous anyway. This fake tension was amped up by the fact that since now this was my car — if the water seeped through, it was my ass on the line.
They even give you a free vacuum cleaner to use before you go through! Wow. And there was no putting in quarters, no turning it on — you just putt it off its hook, open your door and suck. My floor mats look like new.
What was I thinking before this? Did I assume I would just live with pollen stains and dirty floor mats until I got the car detailed right before I sold it? All I can say is that for the last few days, walking towards my car has been the highlight of my day. I feel like I’m driving a Mercedes.