Armed with a bucket, sponge, soap, hose and time. I washed my car today. Using as little water as possible. And watching out the entire time for the patrolling water police. Not that washing your car is a criminal act, as far as I know, but it felt like it. Then I waxed it.
Hardly rocket science, but the process became a sort of mental exercise. It got me thinking about the philosophy of car washing and waxing and the people who do and don’t do it. I came to these conclusions.
Car washing exposes three classes of people:
- You wash your own car, because you’re frugal or particular.
- You take your car to a car wash, because you can and you’re basically lazy.
- You work at a car wash and wash other people’s car all day long, because college wasn’t for you and the tips are good.
At one time or another, I’ve experienced each class first-hand. So I speak with some authority when I only half-ironically reference Karl Marx, “From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.”
(Yeah I know I’m forgetting the forth class: You simply don’t give a crap about washing your car.)
WAXING AND WANING
In deference to Mr. Miyagi’s character-building wax-on wax-off wisdom for the Karate Kid, three distinct qualities are reflected in a freshly applied coat of wax:
- You wax your own car, which suggests you’re resourceful and proud.
- You compliment the gleaming coat of wax someone else just applied to their car and are suitably impressed with the effort, which suggests you’re thoughtful and attentive.
- You “admire” someone else’s just completed work but feel compelled to point out the tiny spot that was missed, which means you … are a tool. (And, you should make better use of your free time by reading The Communist Manifesto and watching “The Karate Kid.”)