Free Carwash.

It's like the post title, only neoner.

I wrote something pretending to be profound here, but deleted it in favor of nonfiction since dismissed, as you may or may not continue on to read.  Sentiment is for another forum.  This one is for criticizing hipster monocultures of cultural regurgitation and making Majora’s Mask references.  I’ll save the sour musings for the My Little Pony diary.

Dear diary: cutting is the only thing that makes the pain go away...

Hipster admonishments aside — yes, Tyler the Creator and Tegan & Sara have a common enemy, tomorrow’s dollar-short blogger latching on to everyone else’s coronations when blogs like Mostly Junkfood are holding court on artists they’ll come to worship falsely some two years down the line (read: Goblin was a shitty album, shame on bloggers who blindly label it revolutionary) — I’ll take this one back to a transparent carwash on 116th Street where I was near certain my 16-year-old self was soon to be entombed.

There stands an outdoor carwash on 116th Street that appears to be some kind of transformed greenhouse.  It’s completely transparent, a glass shell, so apparently everyone can marvel at your ’03 Saturn L200 when it’s getting the latest line of road salt washed off.  I don’t quite understand the concept, but then I didn’t go to school to be a carwash architect.  Although I wish I had.  I would have designed one with a self-serve burrito station halfway through.

This year’s Architect of the Year Award goes to…Collin!  His burrito self-serve station has forever revolutionized the way cars are baptized.  Honorable mention goes to Salazar Slytherin, whose Chamber of Secrets will surely one day make for a lukewarm Chris Columbus film adaptation.

Doug daydream concluded, I was in the car with one of my best buds (honoring my policy of not using names so as to embarrass people, except Trevor, who sold me out to the Pacers, the bastard!) leaving school for that day.  Don’t think I was quite old enough to drive then, freshly 16, so I was sitting shotgun, getting a ride home.  Along the way, it was decided that we would take the car in for a car wash, because driver-friend had the free car wash code.  Which if you know anything about living in insignificant-land, is equal in value to either six Frullati punch cards or one alcoholic genie who doesn’t give you three wishes but instead gives you a free corndog every Tuesday before heading to his A.A. meeting and spending the duration convincing himself that the last handle of Bright Dark Eyes was the last handle of Bright Dark Eyes.  Stupid emo groups.

(Which isn’t to poke fun at alcoholism — a serious disease — but rather Robin Williams and Shaq.)

Right, so, carwash.

Free carwash code is entered.  Carwash bay door opens.  Open sesame, I say.  But not really.  Because nobody says that.  Ever.

(“Open sesame,” said Kazaam to the vodka handle.”)

It’s likely also worth noting that it’s early March, and it’s Indiana, so it’s cold.  Like freezing cold.  Like frozen water is ice cold.  Like carwash is full of water that will freeze and create ice cold.

The carwash starts fairly normally.  I’d give it a six out of 10.  Theatrics are there at the onset, a symphony of scrubbers and twirling thingamabobs, but the big spinning thing (technically called the “large rotating item”) was a disappointment.  Just didn’t have any oomph to it.  Like a Subway sandwich artist who just lazily scatters banana peppers on your sub because six hours into her shift and having survived Saturday soccer outings, she’s clearly past the point of caring, and very well may quit on the next squirt of mayonnaise.

So the C+/B- carwash show ends, and the car pulls up to trip the dryer.

Except it doesn’t.

To recap: Harry Potter and Deathly Carwash Part 1 = water + scrubber doo-dads + 45 minutes of aimless teenage angst in the woods:

The world's first cheese-powered carwash.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Carwash Part 2 = the blow-dryer, the heavy action, the big blast to send the saga off safely, a subtle shot of Emma Watson’s cleavage:


Except the dryer mechanism never tripped, and the dryer never activated.  So we just sat there, waiting with no idea of what to do next.  I’d imagine this is what it’s like getting tricked by a leprechaun.  Free carwash, he says, but nothing about cardry.  It’s like when your neighbor invites you over for free beer and buffalo chicken dip on gameday, but fails to mention the demon in the cellar with a severe case of the soul-munchies when he asks you to grab some cold ones from downstairs.

(Of course, if it’s IU gameday, having a demon gorge on your soul is probably preferably to watching the game anyway.)

So we’re stuck in subzero temperatures in a soaking wet car, trying to figure out how to get the dryer to work.  My friend eases the car into reverse and tries to trip the sensor again, figuring he’s probably missed it.

And then the car-crypt closes shut.

So now, not only will the dryer not work, but we’re locked in the carwash.  The exit door has closed.  And the scrubbers are warming up again.  We appear to be destined to loop endlessly in carwash purgatory.  Like some time travel conundrum.  Only not that at all, and in a transparent carwash where our plight is public spectacle.

We try honking to get the attention of someone nearby, namely the police car parked directly outside, but it’s no use.  Everyone would prefer gawk.  Why?  Because studies show that people suck.  Hardcore.

At some point, it’s apparent that someone will have to get out of the car and attempt to manually…I don’t know, do something.  At all points, as the mist begins to build from the infant wash cycle, it’s apparent that that person is not me.  Because I am a total, unabashed coward.

What can I say?  My favorite hobbies include reading, writing, playing soccer, playing Risk and not drowning in a sea of (free!) subzero carwash foam.  I’m not extraordinarily adventurous.  I don’t take a lot of risks.  I don’t even take a lot of risks in the game of Risk.  I usually just squat on South America or Australia, build my armies forever and don’t attack anyone.  Yeah, I’m the reason you’re falling asleep over the board at 2:00 a.m.

Thankfully, though, my friend is not paralyzed by inaction.  Like the hybridized offspring of a kraken and a mermaid, he braves the battering rains of The Works Plus to seek out an emergency release lever for the exit door and, shrugging, engages it.  Trust me, it would have made an awesome Marines commercial.

The door opens.  Glorious sun, the soothing rays of victory come pouring in.  Wait, no.  I got that description wrong.  Indiana winter comes pouring in.  The exterior of the car seems to start taking notice as we drive away.

So by the time we reach my house, naturally, all of the undried doors — which are, coincidentally, all of the doors — are frozen shut.  Great.  Substituting on icy, windowed tomb for another.  At least my grave has a nice music library, I figure.  But after enough work and a few inexplicable nosebleeds, we’re able to force the doors open.

The next night, Tony Todd shows up at soccer practice, which I think is odd because usually he only shows up at my gymnastics lessons.  Not that I ever took gymnastics, I mean.  At age 10.  At Danna Mannix.  With trainer John Green.  He goes on to explain how I’ve cheated death, and it will come to reclaim me.

A long succession of improbable events and unfortunate accidents ensue.  In 3D.

The end.


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