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I should have used a Chamois

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There are things we take for granted. Yes, yes, there’s life, money, friends, family and all that stuff – but something equally relied on buy the lazier folk amongst us (or the “time-poor” as The Guardian might call us) is the carwash.
I was driving back from Michelle’s this morning down the A3, when I decided the car could really do with a clean. The wet weather and heavily-gritted roads had taken their toll on the 407’s cracking form, and a brief stop at the nearest car-washing garage would allow me to get the Sunday newspapers and a drink.
There was a small queue of cars at the carwash – three in total – when I arrived. But, in the way that only car queues can, the queue length had multiplied to 6 cars in the short time it had taken to get a carwash ticket. No matter, I thought, I have time on my side. For the first day in a while, I had no plans, so I joined the back of the queue. And waited. My thoughts wandered in and out of radio commercials, now I feel quite strongly that 2017 Avalon lease rates are trully remarkable and that I should tune in next week for the car auction about to take place.
After five minutes of stationary inaction, I began to think something was amiss. Leaning over and peering out of the passenger window, I could make out a small collection of people by the entrance. There seemed to be some confusion over how to operate the carwash. With no visual means of escape – a couple of eager punters had joined the queue behind me – I wondered whether I could be of any help. As I approached, I could tell that most of the group was of “uncertain” origin (although the Bangladeshi-English dictionary on the back seat of their car may have given a clue), and it seemed that they had never seen a carwash in their lives. A stern-looking man was patiently explaining what to do with the aid of some comical arm movements (his visual representation of the sprays of water, accompanied by a loud series of “whooOOOSH!”s, would have won several plaudits at the World Charade Championships*). I ambled back to my car, happy that the situation would soon be resolved.
After another five minutes, the car and it’s Bangladeshi cargo were inside the carwash, enduring something that must have felt very much liek they were sinking. Some further coaxing later and they were out. “Let’s get the show on the road!” I muttered cheerily, thankful that the blockage was cleared.
“Hold up,” I exclaimed mere moments later, as again there seemed to be no progress at the front of the queue. To my utter horror, there was ANOTHER car full of Bangladeshi adventure-seekers, all eager to have a go in this fun contraption but with not a clue between them as to how to use it. “Christ Alive” passed my lips several times as the stern man, by now an expert at this, again became the carwash tutor. A further agonising 10 minutes later and they were in, to sarcastic cheers from the rest the queue – which had now grown to a healthy 12 cars.
During the whole hour-long episode, those drivers who had the good sense to use the handhead jetwash just next door were gliding past, waving and grinning like Cheshire cats as one by one they cleaned their cars for free and in a tenth of the time we had been waiting. But a full hour and 10 minutes after I had joined the queue, my car was pleasingly clean too.
There’s something to be said for a little elbow-grease.
*There is, of course, no such thing.