Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wash, rinse, snow

"Following a winter weather system and then a 40-degree day in Maryland, a patron washes the salt off of his vehicle as employee fixes the automated drive-in wash system at a car wash in Cockeysville, Md."

Maryland isn't like California. We have a winter that includes low temperatures and snow. Two things Californians know nothing about. Not to mention, we east coasters also own more than just shorts.

In contrast, I can see my buddy Darnay saying right now how a Baltimore winter weather system is nothing compared to the snow they get out in Montana. Ha. Whatever. It's all relative. It's all snow, right?

Nonetheless, I don't mind snow and winter weather, but that isn't to say I once despised it.

Back in high school I was really into cars and my gem at the time was a fully restored Honda CR-X. While I loved the car to death in that era of my life, I couldn't justify driving it the minute a flurry hit the pavement.

I was terrified that my defensive driving skills on a snowy day wouldn't be enough to prevent someone from sliding around a turn and totaling this object that I had dumped way too much money into.

In addition, anyone who has ever owned a Honda, more specifically an early 90s' model, knows they rust easier than a iron bolt in the rain.

So there laid the problem that my Honda iron box of joy would become a rust box with wheels if it came in contact with water and oxygen. Then add some cold temperatures some potent road salt and every panel on my car would rust quicker than children looking out the window when you say, "Look, it's snowing."

But now I could careless about my car. After years of parallel parking in downtown Baltimore, my bumpers have more license plate bolt marks than a golf ball has dimples and my doors have more dings and dents than, well, a car in a hail storm.

With snow coming in and going out January through March here on the east coast my car becomes subject to becoming very, very dirty and while I don't care, I must still wash it.

What happens is the snow falls and the transportation authority over salts the roads to keep us motorist safe. A couple days later everything melts and the roads become a slushy mess of gray water, thus in turn transforming my clean car into a salty mess.

It becomes overbearing and why I could easily leave it until April when my hose unfreezes and I can wash my car for free with my own water, I feel the need to sit in the long lines to get my car washed for $8 or more.

But immediately after I wash it, it snows again - repeating the cycle. What can you do other than post a random, meaningless rant about it?

All I know is when I asked the attendant in the picture above if he owned the wash he smiled and said, "yes."

When I asked if he was making a killing on this "warm" day which every Marylander was washing their car, he could only smile and say, "I hope."

Here is a quick frame from the car wash that I wasted my money on. And now that my car is clean, all I can say is welcome back snow.


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