Thursday, March 6, 2014

Polar Vortex

     The never ending winter of Buffalo has been taking its toll on all of us, but were hanging in there.  I wish I could say the same for my truck.  Its once beautiful deep blue finish is caked with brown road grit topped with a white layer of fresh salt.  It was a pretty sad sight. We can retreat indoors and put on a smile but the truck is stuck in this unforgiving Polar Vortex.  So, I thought it was time to give the poor old girl a treat, a car wash. 
    Pretty simple right,  pull up, mirrors in, credit card in the slot, press deluxe(I'm going all out for her), garage door opens and in we go.  Whoops, window back up.
    Turns out not so simple.  I pull in following the green lights directions.  Going, going, going...nothing is happening except a blast of hot steamy water from the bottom.  Green light still on, did I mention I have never been to this type of car wash before.  I drive over something hard and the truck tilts to one side.  I'm thinking "Is this supposed to be happening?"  Another glance to the green light, still on.  I keep going and my hood is starting to peek out into the sunlight.  Now I am really confused.  I start to back up, again something hard.  I remember seeing steel rails, "Am I on one of those rails," I begin to wonder.  Still green I pull forward and back several times, still green.  Hey, when all else fails bail out, right?  I pull all the way out and the door behind me closes.
      "Great, Now what? I already paid." I check the clock and I still have time.  I pull around to the entrance again and dial the emergency number.  A man answers and I explain what happened.
     "You drove over the treadle, instead of stopping on it," he responds.
    "The what?"
     "I'll be right there," his voice has a tone that implies I am not the first person to screw this up.
     A minute later he pulls up and resets the machine.  "See that thing?" he says as he points to the metal bump I was driving over and over, "That's a treadle!"
    "Oh, sorry," comes my weak reply. 
    "No problem."  He stays and watches me get into position and the wash starts right up. 
    "That was incredibly easy," I think.
    He gives me the thumbs up. I do the same and he vanishes in the hot steam rising in the cold morning.
    We pull out, truck all clean and refreshed and me a little bit wiser... at least when it comes to car washes.

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