This is just about the best SoCS prompt ever. Seriously, “This and That” – Oh my goodness. Not a week goes by that my editor doesn’t shove a ‘that’ into my blog post. I keep telling her that it sounds too formal, but she’s only willing to back off to a degree. I’m getting ahead of myself, this this and that thing is from Linda G. Hill:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “this and that.” Talk about this, talk about that, talk about this and that, but here’s the catch: make either “this” or “that” the first word of your post. Bonus points if you can end with “this” or “that.” Enjoy!
The thing is, though, I was planning to write about coupons after reading a post by Cordelia’s Mom. CM had a post about the car wash. No, not the Car Wash Song, not even the Steadily Depressin’ low-down mind-messin’ Working at the Car Wash Blues. Nope, just about how she had a little difficulty figuring out how the car wash express lane deal worked. I commented on CM’s post:
“I would buy the unlimited and then forget to go” and that’s true.
I once bought my wife a 10-pack of car wash coupons from the local car wash. I told her that whenever she wanted her car washed, all she had to do was give me a coupon and off I’d go.
You might be wondering why my wife couldn’t just take the car through herself.
She used to.
Until that day. That day in the 80s when she and our daughter (who was still in a car seat) took her car through the car wash, only to emerge with two flat tires. Not just flat tires, shredded, as in: “they-ain’t-never-gonna-hold-air-again-lady” tires.
When you have a flat tire, you have options. You can put the spare on. Of course, if you’re a mom with a kid in a car seat, that’s really not much of an option. When you have two flat tires, you only have bad options. When you have two flat tires at the end of the car wash line and there are people behind you mid-wash, you really don’t have any options. You are involved in what people in the car wash industry refer to as a, well, it begins with ‘cluster’, but they wouldn’t use that term around a mom and her baby. Anyway, you need a tow truck.
We got two new tires from the car wash folks, but my wife has never gone back. I always think about that day when I take her car through. I wonder if my doing a good deed will outweigh the curse hanging over her car. That might be why she never asked me to use those coupons. I’m pretty sure most of them expired. In fact, I’m pretty sure I paid for car washes, knowing that I had a pack of coupons sitting at home.
Now you’re thinking: “what a dope. Why didn’t he just put the coupons in the glove compartment?” You might be thinking glove box, but I don’t like that word. It’s not a box, it’s a compartment. Actually, in my Triumph Spitfire, it was a shelf. Anyway, putting the coupons in there wouldn’t have helped. I still would have forgotten to use them.
I’ve taken coupons for free deserts to restaurants and forgotten to use them. I’ve taken $1 off a big bag of chips coupons to the grocery store and brought the coupon and the chips home. I’ve carried free drink coupons on both legs of a Southwest Airlines flight – free drinks! – only to watch them expire in my wallet a few weeks later.
I don’t do coupons well.
I do the car wash well though. I buy less and tip more.
Seriously. I buy the $11 “Silver” wash (the cheapest one that includes undercar spray), I give the guy $15 and refuse the change. He announces “Silver – Four!” and the guys in the prep area scrub the beejeebies off my car. The car wash at that point is just to rinse off the soap.
I’ve seen people ahead of me ask for the $15 “Gold” wash, hand the guy a $20 and take the five singles back. “Gold – Zero!” is announced and the car rolls into the wash lane with barely a brush stroke from the bucket boys. They toss some soapy water on the windshield, but their heart isn’t in it. You can tell.
After the great car wash tire slashing event, my wife had a short series of two-flat-tire incidents. She ran over some screws in the road right outside of our driveway, poof – poof – two tires gone. She also backed over some junk in the church parking lot – yeah, it’s not like she’s some off-road warrior, the church parking lot! Poof – poof.
The worst flat tire she ever had was when a steel I-beam fell off a truck on the other side of the highway. The thing bounced up and targeted her car like the Enterprise locking phasers on a Romulan Bird of Prey. She sped-up but the I-Beam took out
her port nacelle driver’s side rear tire.
The state police wrote that up as a “vehicle vs. object” accident. Then the cop looked at me and said: “Objects always win.”
When we bought her current car, we turned down every optional thing you could buy. Clear-coat? No. Rustproofing? No. Upholstery protection? No. Make your payment if you’re disabled? No. Wheel and Tire damage? – Oh yeah, sign us up for some of that.