Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Plea For Mercy

Today seemed like the first reasonable day to consider running my little black SUV through a car wash. The weather was warmer, and from top to bottom, salt had named itself the new color of my car. Even my Life is Good magnet had lost it‘s sparkle under all the grit and grime.

As I drove up and positioned myself to get in line, I went through my purse, looking for my five dollar bill. The basic car wash used to cost six dollars, but then a while ago they dropped it down to five, which is so much more convenient than six – and cheaper, obviously.

As I slowly inched my way up, I noticed the prices posted on the billboard and it looked like the basic wash was up to six dollars again – shoot! Oh well, I had exactly six dollars in my wallet, so I was okay.

Another two car lengths forward and now the billboard and it’s ever increasing prices were crystal clear – eight dollars. Whoa! I didn’t have eight dollars. And now I’m sandwiched between two cars, with no room to escape because we’re lined up like cattle in a shoot – nose to butt – with no wiggle room. I start rummaging through my car looking for two dollars in loose change, which is a particularly big challenge for me because I’m an anti-change girl– I just don’t like carting it around.

Whenever I can, I dump my spare change into jars, waiting for it to add up and morph into real money. In Canada, their one and two dollars are coins instead of bills, which is right at the top of a short list of why I could never live there. Can you imagine lugging around all those coins? They call them Loonies and Toonies, which is hilarious, but not funny enough for me to carry around all day. I must say though, Canadian men are probably the only guys who have a legitimate excuse for being a sagger – a man who wears low, low, low rise jeans.

Anyway…….After some serious digging and praying, I miraculously found enough stray quarters, dimes, and pennies to add another $1.57 to the pot. After panicking for a moment over the fact that I didn't have enough money, I sat back in my seat, took a deep breath and realized that these people could not deny me this wash. Once I pull up to the starting line, the only way out of here is through that car wash. My car was going to get it’s much needed shower today and that was that.

Of course, when it came time to hand over the cash, my brazen attitude was long gone. Instead, I greeted the kind woman with a sheepish grin and a pathetic plea for mercy. I only had $7.57. “Please have mercy on me.” I said.

“Sure Honey”, was her reply, “just come better prepared next time.”

“Absolutely! Thank you!” That was sweet!

As I came out on the other side, four men came at my car with their super-duper rags and dried it until it was nice and shiny and black again. They even asked me to brake for a moment so they could finish the job, and that’s when I noticed the tip box outside my window. “Was that always there?” I thought to myself. “Buggers. What do I do? What can I do?“ I could roll down my window and tell these nice gentlemen that I truly don’t have one single penny to give them – because they would sooo believe that, or I could just speed off and let them get right to their discussion about the cheap lady in the black car who couldn’t even spare a penny for a job well done.

I chose option number two……………...

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm shaking my head and giggling. You are my favorite funny person. You ALWAYS crack me up. I hate to say this so much..but I've been there and done that. Not with a car wash..but with food at a drive thru once. Anyway, Glad you got your car washed and you got a bargain! ha ha
Maybe next time you can leave the guys a double-tip..? Gee...8 bucks for a wash AND a tip too..that's a lot for a clean car. I'm too cheap--I'd have to start washing at home by hand or something.