austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

With a rub-a-dub-dub and a scrub-a-dub-dub

While I still haven't resolved the air conditioning problem with my car I have kept up with my habit of driving it, what with the inexplicable desire of the office to actually see me enter in the morning, appear at lunch, and exit in the evening. Happily right now it's between major malfunctions so I can settle on fretting over petty issues, such as whether I should replace my windshield wiper. Or there's getting the car washed. My father washes his car the old-fashioned way, by getting out the garden hose and a bucket of what was at one time spackle (my father is an all-time spackle champion, whereas I just use enough to fill in a small hole) and getting the driveway very well soaked. Me, I use the gas station about five minutes away which has washing options for six, seven, or eight dollars, none of which really seem all that different.

In the winter a wash every week or so makes fair sense, since if there's been snow then there's salt to follow and the car's windows and sides get covered with this slushy crystalline goo that I'm sure disintegrates what remains of the car. Also when a window catches the sunlight in the right angle it explodes in light so as to resemble what I would see if I were to stare into a fluorescent panel bulb. It happens even if it didn't snow, since the salt season starts in early November around here and runs to March. Around spring I would start cutting back on the washings, except that apparently it's pollen season (I don't have hay fever so can't really tell), as I find the car covered in vaguely pink dust which won't come off. This suggests an attempt to hybridize suburban plants with a fourteen-year-old car, which would be a great prank on biologists and automobile manufacturers.

Anyway, the guy running the booth at the car wash --- it has an automated pay machine which has not worked for six months now --- has got to recognizing me, which shouldn't really surprise me. And it's even had some nice dividends. While I was at yoga class the day after my car wash, someone sprayed the passenger's side with what looked like a cherry slurpee. Somehow I didn't quite process how much of the car was covered; I'd thought initially it was just the windows and that I could wash that clean with my Windex substitute. This was not so true as I wanted. Happily, though, the guy at the car wash recognized me; looking at the soda all over the side he gave me that wash free. Really quite nice of him.

Trivia: The Nile discharged into the First Cataract at Aswan in 1879 an average of 129 billion cubic meters of water per day. In 1913 the average discharge fell to 44 billion cubic meters. Source: Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the fate of Civilizations, Brian Fagan.

Currently Reading: The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Matthewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball, Frank Deford. [ SPOILER: They did it by playing baseball. ]


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