Enjoy This or That

socs-badge-2015This 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.

70 thoughts on “Enjoy This or That

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    1. Thanks Teagan. I enjoy the SoCS prompts because I have to work with what I just wrote. I started with the hope that it would help me think before writing but I’m just getting used to moving forward. As for objects, they have physics on their side.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, Dan, you’ve earned your bonus points and then some. Awesome post. I have a question, though: How in the world did the car wash manage to shred two tires? Was the car off track or what?

    My only bad experience at a car wash was when I owned a red Volkswagon. It was a car wash where you stayed in the vehicle. Unfortunately, the windshield was not properly sealed and water came spurting across the dashboard and into the car. After that, I was afraid to go through the car wash, even after I bought a different vehicle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were never quite sure what happened Mary. She got the car in the track fine but when she got to the end of the wash, the tires were toast. There must have been something in the track that tore them. They were new tires too! It was one where you stay in the car.

      Thanks for supporting my SoCS habit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dropping in from the SoCS link. That’s some bad luck with the tires. I’ve had a few go but never two at once, yet! The thing to check with new cars now is that they have a spare – it’s become an optional extra that not everyone notices until they need it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Boy, of all the rotten luck for one poor woman to have! :-/ I’m a very smart shopper, and ALWAYS looking for a bargain, but oddly enough, coupons aren’t really much of a thing up here. Sometimes I’ll see a stray pack of coupons next to a store shelf, but the weekly flyers are all coupon-free. Every once in a while I’ll get one of those surveys that promises a free envelope stuffed with coupons that are supposed to be relevant to the answers you gave in the survey, but even then, there’s only one or two coupons that I’m actually interested in using. I HAVE gotten in the habit of dragging flyers around town each week though to take advantage of certain store’s “price matching” guarantee. I guess that’s as close to “couponing” as I’m going to get!

    And no car washes for me either, I’m afraid. I’m driving around in a car that has flame decals on the doors. And expensive decals + carwash = Just don’t. So if I want the car washed… :P But I guess it’s for the best anyway because I never wash without waxing too. And a GOOD wax job ain’t happenin’ in only 15 minutes! If you want it done right…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hand washing is best Wendy. I mostly use the car wash for that underspray deal so I cna get the salt and other deicing gunk in use around her, off my car. you’ve piqued my curiosity about that car now.

      I have tried using coupons at a tool store, but they seem to be really good at finding reasons the coupon doesn’t apply to my purchase.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OH em Gee! Your wife and the tires is like me and kites! She has my sympathies! Good grief! That I-beam story was terrifying!
    I’m not so good with coupons, either. I swear they’ve expired mere days before I try to use them.

    Also, Jim Croce <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She stays off the highway and out of car washes. I’m pretty sure a guardian angel or two were involved in the I-beam deal. Come to think of it, I’ve never tried to fly a kite with her…hmmm. And yes, Jim Croce :)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. She was actually pretty lucky with the dual flats, none were in a bad place. The I-beam deal wasn’t far from where I was working at the time, so I was able to go help. Now I drive her places a lot :)


  5. Thanks for the link, Dan.

    In this area, tips are given after the car wash is complete and when the car is in the drying lane, so you might get extra drying if you tip more but that’s about it. I usually tip $2 each time I go through, although once at Christmas – because it was really cold out there – I gave my dryer guy $5.

    I understand about shredded tires. Never did that at the car wash, but I did shred a tire by going over a curb on my way to pick up some DVDs I was buying for Christmas. Managed to make it around the block to the nearest Monroe shop. They didn’t have a replacement tire to fit my car, but they did put the donut tire on for me – free of charge. I sincerely hope that never happens again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Coupon trolls pray on folks like us Dan.
    My Mom and I had a Doris Day episode in a Car Wash near Dallas and that put me off the drive thru variety for years. But now, after shots and therapy, I can handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Dan–please excuse me laughing at your wife’s expense, but..gosh!! Talk about bad luck. I am not a coupon clipper for the exact reason you state–I would totally forget about them, or leave them in the car, or leave them home. Plus it is just too much trouble to cut out the darn things. As for car wash….I tell my husband I prefer the natural car wash. Rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s ok Lois. I tagged this as humor. The I-beam was scary but we do laugh about her two-flat trifecta. I do the car was more in the winter to get the road salt off, as well as the liquid deicer they use now in advance of storms. It can’t be good for your car. I guess you guys don’t need much of that.


  8. HAHAHA! I knew you’d get the bonus points! Well done! I was laughing and nodding my head a lot reading this. I can sympathize with your wife when it comes to flat tires. I went through a period of getting flats. Somehow I was the one managing to find the screws, and nails while out driving.

    He-Man replaced my tires with American Tires during that time because they have a great warranty and service plan. It’s saved us some good money during that period. I’m knocking on wood right now cause I don’t want to start that cycle again! :)

    Car wash…Loved the story Silver…Four! How in the world did the tires get shredded in the car wash? I’ll be a bit afraid of that now when I watch my car go through the wash now.
    At the car wash I use no one goes through with their car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. Sorry to hear that flats follow you too. My wife has be ok for 7 years. I think the warranty is working like a flu shot. I remember the kind of car was where you watch from behind the glass. Here, you go right with the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good Grief, your wife is my hero. I wouldn’t set foot in a car if I’d had to go through any of these incidents. I only managed a few flat tires due to nails on the street. But my C1 has funny tires. You don’t realise it directly. And by the way: It only has a shelve too. No box or compartment ;-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She drives a lot less and avoids highways these days. My Jeep has a compartment and a shelf. I’m not sure what option I missed out on that goes where the shelf is. I use it for a box of tissues.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I always worry about those car watch rail thingys and wonder if I could get my tires lined up right. Now I know the answer. Don’t even go there. I was going to say you should buy coupons books for tire stores. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, that would have come in handy. The guys help you line up. It was hard for my wife (who is blind in one eye) but she was able to do it. I think there was something sticking out of, or stuck in the rail.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. First of all, your poor wife! It isn’t safe to have double tires going out at the same time!
    Jim Croce was a great performer, Dan. Maybe not as much singing this; but I am a big fan of him. :)
    I also was chuckling about coupons usage. I think women have purses for these, although putting car wash coupons in the glove compartment is a wise after-thought. My brothers are happy when I come to visit because where we go to eat is often determined by my coupons. I luck out by offering to pay and then, they hand me cash.
    Max and Erma’s, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and TGIFriday’s often have coupons. Well, I rambled on many “this and that” items here.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dude, your SoCS posts are rapidly becoming my favorite Saturday morning thing! “Hey now mama, come on over here.” The fact that I remember every word of these lyrics makes me smile…oh, and your car wash post – that was pretty sweet, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You must live in the land of flats. I’ve had two flats during my whole driving experience to date and that includes bikes starting from the first one I had. I wonder what makes a person “flat-prone”.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. JOb well done, Dan!! You began the post with THIS and ended with THAT. Clever! The coupons phenomenon I have in my own life. People have given me gift cards and oops, I forget all about them. So you are not alone. I do not do coupons. As for your wife with the tires, I honestly don’t know what to say about that except perhaps have her drive in a tank? Her luck with tires is mind boggling! Another enjoyable post so I thank you!!! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, gift cards. I forgot about those. I still have one from Christmas that I keep forgetting to use. She’s had good luck with tires for many years. Maybe it was just a phase she was going through :)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’d forgotten this was even a prompt, Dan. You sucked me right in to your story. I think it’s quite wonderful of you to take care of the car. I’m sure your wife appreciates not experiencing the anxiety that comes from approaching the car wash. Oh! And guys like you always get a great car wash. Men know good solid men when they see’em. Wait this was about coupons. Right? Have some expired ones if you want to dig them out of the glove compartment (expired coupon compartment). Enjoy your Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Audrey. I think the reason I get a good car wash is that tip, but thanks. SoCS is still a prompt, and it’s a fun one. I don’t do it every week, but sometimes, I like just seeing where those random thoughts take me and see if I can keep weaving something together.

      Yes, it was about coupons, but it’s hard for some of us to stay focused :)

      Liked by 1 person

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