Sunday, August 16, 2009

A sneaky little hidden gold-mine

I am addicted to the gas station auto car washes. I admit it. Now you can either call that laziness on my part or resourceful. I don't care. Either way my car gets washed and cleaned and prettied on the outside without me having to break a sweat dragging a hose out to the driveway, dipping the ginormously freaky oversized sponge in to the converted empty-kitty-litter-bucket and stretch all over the car to wash it. And I NEVER get the top center of the car clean. I'm physically challenged that way just like any 5'2" person would be.

And the inside? Well, I have to sweat for that. Or go to a "fancy" car wash place and pay $25 more dollars for it. And I'm kind of cheap.

So I choose to hit "yes" to the "would you like to buy a car wash" when filling up my gas tank. It saves me money. And sweat. And a few sore muscles. When I'm all done, I stare at the reciept depository anxiously awaiting that glorious little piece of paper with the magic number on it. My number to freedom. My number to a sparkly clean car. My car wash code. Then off to the machine I go.

I will say that I am somewhat choosey about WHICH gas stations I will purchase car washes from. I do NOT like the ones with the huge muppet-like monsters twirling around your precious automobile beating it to death with its rubber fur. Ugh! How can someone do that to their car? I like the "touchless" ones because who likes to actually be touched by a stranger at the car wash? Not me.

My favorite part of the whole process? When the machine gently layers a coat of fruity smelling waxes and soaps all over the car. Hmmmmmm. I just want to eat it.

Imagine how excited I was when I noticed I needed gas when I got off work yesterday. Even though I got off work semi-late because northern California is currently trying to burn to the ground, I'm positive there was a glimmer in my eye. I wish I would have looked in the mirror to see it. And how excited I was to hit that "yes" button. How giddy do you think I was to see that little golden-numbered ticked printing out? Apparently not excited enough because I got sidetracked thinking of my husband wondering why I was running late while dinner was getting cold....AND DROVE OFF WITHOUT MY TICKET.

The horrors!!!!

So I'm finally getting to the point of this post. How much money do you think is made by these gas stations by people who do the very thing I did yesterday? I'm not sure how to even approach the clerk at the gas station...or if there is anything they could do about it anyway. I paid for a car wash. I didn't get my car wash. They got my money and didn't have to spend a dime providing me with electricity, water or yummy smelling soap and wax stuff for my car.


But there is irony in this story. A couple of weeks ago I pressed "yes", got my golden-numbered ticket and proceeded to the car wash. The vehicle in front of me pulled in and sat for a moment...and another moment...then a few more moments....then pulled out without a car wash. As I pulled up to enter my number, imagine my suprise and delight when the screen said, "Please Pull Forward."

I got a free car wash that day. I gave the one I purchased to my daughter.

But it seems as though I ended up paying for it anyway.

God is funny like that. Keeping us all honest and stuff. And if you like this story I have a GREAT one about a Christmas tree tag-swapping trick that ended up costing me twice as much money.


  1. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!

  2. cheri.
    gotta say you really cleaned up, or washed away.
    It seems I usually forget the ticket too, btw that car that drove away was mine.

  3. my birth mother is probibly 4'2" so conseder yourself lucky to be thatt tall

  4. Where are these children of yours when it is time to wash the car? Give em a hose and a bucket and let 'em go to town. They may come back a soapy, wet mess, but your car will shine.... lol

  5. So, there was this time when I got stuck in the car wash....

  6. I only do the inside and out carwashes. They are not $25 bucks around here and they have a guarantee you can get it washed again for free within five days! Plus there is not magic number to forget at the pump LOL

  7. I only do the inside.As for outside wash,.. when it rains!...

  8. I remember as a kid thinking of the Drive Thru car wash like a ride (because that's how exciting my childhood was).

    And yeah, when did that bubblegum candy foamy stuff get added to the process? I just want to jump out of the car like I'm in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory or something.

  9. Yeah, well, how about when you don't go directly to the car wash. . . you save the receipt which is good for 30 days, & then on day 31 (or 40, or 45) you find it & discover . . . Shoot! I paid 8 dollars for something i never got!

    The incentive here is you get a discount on the car wash for every gallon of gas you buy. I have one now that will expire day after tomorrow. Better use it!

  10. Hey Cheri,
    Just wanted to tell you about my last post written in the memory of my best friend.
    Hope you get a chance to check it out. THANK you.
    Have a nice and peaceful day.


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