Can’t Find a Car Wash Rant

…updated 6/10/2005

Well….they car washes in Mountain View aren’t really banned. It seems more like it was a basic, simple, and nonchalant yet remarkably evil cospiracy afoot to keep me from washing my car.

I have been trying to get my car washed for the last 2 weeks. It’s dirty-dusty-muddy and I can hardly see out the windshield. I don’t want to wash it at my house (waste o’ water and lots o’ time) so I have been filling up at gas stations with car washes.

The first car wash I went to was one of those "brushless" pee on your car type jobbies at my local Chevron. It sucked so bad that we can’t even count this as an actual car wash. It was more like a light drizzle. Case in point, dirt remained stuck on windshield. Case in point #2: the spider web on my rearview mirror was still there afterwards.. Regardless, this very same car wash is now closed while they rennovate the gas station (and block access to the functional car wash in the process).

Frustrated, I pulled into my local Valero with a 1/2 tank remaining. Only, I didn’t really pull in, because it turns out this Valero is in the same torn-up state as my local Chevron. Needless to say, the fully functional car wash was blocked off by fences and cones.

So, another 1/4 tank later, I’m determined enough to try a different Shell several miles away. No chance…the gas station was operational but there were 4 cones blocking the freakin’ car wash. No sign (e.g. "Will Return in 1 Week"), no reason, no logical explanation.

So, another 1/4 tank later and this time I attempt yet another Shell. I am starting to suspect a conspiracy at this point. This (different) Shell station’s car wash was also blocked off with cones (no reason, no logic, etc, etc, etc).

And now I’m desperate. I’m so desperate, that I drove to the nearby pay-through-the-nose hand-wash places. You know the place….$20 for a car wash so that some minimum wage dudes drive your car onto the automated conveyer belt while you watch in an air-conditioned building and balance your shakras. UNFORTUNATELY even the yuppy-wash is closed!! Looks like it’s going to get torn down, too.

In fact, there is not a gas station within a 10 mile radius (that I know of) that has an open and working car wash.

Surely there must be a conspiracy. A shadowy consortium determined to prevent me from washing my car. A group of old dudes who smoke in leather chairs while sitting around a mahogany conference table. With their secret surveillance cameras, they rapidly set out cones as I approach car washes.

UPDATE 6/10/2005

Well…finally got my car washed at one of those Valero-type places. Except, this time I have a side rant to get into really quick. Valero now asks for your zip code when you use a credit card (anti-theft measure…fine by me). However, after you finish entering in your 5 digit zip, the embedded code is too stupid to realize you are done, and it will sit there forever awaiting you to press the "enter" key. Dumb. It’s not like zip codes are numbers of arbitrary length…figure it out dumb machine!

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