Not Working At The Car Wash.

The roof of our car was covered with tree sap. It’s one of the hazards of late spring and not having a garage and also parking under a maple tree that later this year will drip fluffy cat tail seed pods all over the car. At least those rinse right off with every good rainstorm. The sap just sticks there and makes the roof brown.

I thought I’d take it to one of those nice car wash places—not the automated ones with the giant roller brushes that thunder over your car while you sit in it, although I think those are fun—I just have to remember to roll up the windows before going through one, but that’s another story.

At the car wash place I left the car in what I thought were the capable hands of a whole team of cleaners, and I figured it would be at least half an hour before they’d be done. It turned out to be less than ten minutes. The car looked great and when I got in the whole interior was clean and smelled faintly of vinegar. 

It wasn’t until I got home that I could see the roof of the car from our patio. It was still brown and sap-covered. It was an expensive lesson but now I know there are a lot of things that will remove tree sap from a car roof, and that fancy car wash places are one thing that won’t.

Source: Wondermark


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  1. Allison

    I went through one of the ones with rollers yesterday, and it even has disco lights. It makes me wish I had a thing in my shower that shot out foamy multicolored soap and scrubbed me down. But that might get old.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’ve really hit on an idea here: a shower with disco lights and scrubbers, something that gave you a car wash experience but in the bathroom. It would have to be optional so you could turn it off if you wanted, but, let’s face it, people are going to want this.


    I become very attached to places I trust, Chris, so I haven’t found a car wash I like on the South Shore of Boston since I moved there six years ago. Just last week, I figured out a way to conveniently visit my old car wash in Allston before I go to work on Mondays (I tried to go after work last month but they were closed). I would tell you the address, but I think that’s not going to work for you.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That would be a bit of a commute for a car wash. Fortunately I can get by most of the time with the automated ones. Also out of respect for Gary Larson I won’t share one of my favorite Far Side cartoons but it shows a couple in a car wash and the caption is, “Quick, Agnes, look! There it is again!”


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