I just wanted to wash the salt, slag, snow and road grime from my car. So, on Sunday, I drove to the nearest 4-bay do-it-yourself spray and wash where I found at least 7 other drivers feverishly scrubbing the previous week’s snow memories. Just as I finished vacuuming a month’s worth of dirt from my floorboards, a young guy in a pickup truck wheeled into the bay I faced and started spraying his truck.
I backed out and lined up behind a guy who I thought was drying his car. Nope, he was smoking a cigarette and slowly pulling dried wax from his car with the corner of a dish towel. He turned to chat with another guy leaning against the brick wall smoking a cigarette. I had a choice. I could either be upset, sit in the car and make faces at the guys…or I could be me.
I popped the trunk, pulled three mismatched socks from a bag intended for a donation bin and asked, “Hey, can I help you wax your car?”
The waxing guy said, “uh if you want to, but that side is still drying.” I pulled the socks on each hand and started waxing circles, removing the dried wax from the shiny car. He asked, “What’s your name?” I replied, “Janet” as I continued my Karate Kid moves of wax-on-wax-off. By this time, I finished the driver’s door and was starting on the hood.
He asked, “so, do you wax your car?”
I said, “hardly ever! I’ve got farm chores and just want to get my car washed so I can go do other stuff. I’ve got work tomorrow.”
He asked, “so you’re helping me wax my car? By the way, this is my brother.”
I said, “great, here’s an extra sock, you wax that side and we’ll get this knocked out.”
The other guy took the worn sock and dabbed at the mirror. I said, “put the sock on your hand and rub in circles. Like this…”
The first guy said, “I work on bridge construction. …I can’t believe you’re waxing my car. Some other guy just stopped here and was being a jerk about me waxing my car…but we’ve got another car in the garage at home so I can’t do it in there.”
I asked, “wonder why he did that? You paid your quarters to wash…”
He replied, “I don’t know. You know how guys are..always trying to see whose got a bigger hat.”
I said, “oh I wouldn’t know anything about that.”
He said, “I feel like I should offer you a beer or something for helping me.”
I replied, “Now you boys aren’t out here drinking and driving are you? You know that’s the quickest way to lose your ride.”
He said, “No …no, we’re not drinking. We just live right over here.”
By this time, I finished pulling the wax from the trunk and the hood. I peeled the socks from my hands. The brother asked, “you want your socks back?” I said, “nope, they’re trash now.”
He exclaimed, “I thought you were taking them to Goodwill.”
I replied, “you can’t take waxed socks to Goodwill! They’re rags now. Besides, they did good will. It’s clean.”
Puzzled, he shook his head and extinguished his still-lit cigarette.
I walked back to my car, and they drove out of the bay to finish detailing. I washed my car and finished my Sunday afternoon.
Crazy? Probably. That guy will be telling a story of some older lady who helped wax his car after another guy was a jerk.
At least now I know the reason for not dropping the bag of mismatched socks at the clothing dropbox…they worked great as wax rags.