The car-van was in desperate need of a wash; covered in an inch of brown grime and sporting an opaque rear windshield. The professor, being mildly interested in car maintenance, had tried to take it through an auto wash earlier in the week. But that particular car wash was broken, and the kids were getting cranky, so we went home instead.
Being the outstanding wife that I am, I took matters into my own hands. Two days later, I drove to another car wash. Based on the line of cars snaking from the entrance, I assumed it was working. And walked into the convenience store to pay for said wash.
‘I’d like a car wash.’ I announced to the cashier. ‘Which one?’ she asked as she motioned to the little ‘menu’ on the side of the counter. ‘The cheapest one,’ I replied, pointing to the $6.99 selection.
‘Just so you know,’ she informed me, ‘that one doesn’t clean the undercarriage or the wheel wells.’
The professor had mumbled something about rust when I wondered aloud why he was so intent on washing the car.
‘Fine, I’ll take the $8.99 one,’ I told her, pointing to the middle selection on the menu. Even though it was more than I wanted to spend.
‘Just so you know,’ she told me, ‘it’s $2 extra when you don’t buy any gas.’
$10.99 for a car wash?!
Since I’d already expended energy and time, I resigned myself to paying $11-something-including-tax for a three minute car wash. I swiped my debit card.
Just so you know, I felt like saying, this is a rip-off.