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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Clean Machines

Admit it, doesn't it feel better to drive a clean car? Not only do you feel better while driving a clean automobile, you seem to actually drive better, probably since your reaffirmed pride in the condition of the car makes you a little more cautious of those who may ruin your new wash.
After managing a car wash for three years, I noticed this instant increase in self-respect when a customer got his car washed. It seemed to be pretty much across-the-board satisfaction as well. Even those driving a "clunker" were happy to get the car clean. I've seen people get car washes in vehicles that looked almost junkyard bound due to various poor conditions, yet, when clean, these clunker drivers reared back in self-glorification as they drove their dirtless autos away.
Teenagers cleaning and polishing their autos in anticipation of the prom or a big date were often meticulous in their concerns to remove every possible speck of unwanted foreign matter inside and outside their vehicles. I wondered how this teenage cleanliness compared to the condition of their rooms at home. It's funny how motivation can make all the difference.
Sometimes, older people were extremely critical in their appraisal of a wash. I began to wonder if old age contributed to making sure they were "getting their dollar's worth" or if age merely gave them added incentive to take care of their valued possessions. Regardless, with a shining car, seniors drove away with smiles on their faces.
I've witnessed several times people getting a wash in the driving rain. This behavior, I must admit, I did not understand. Did they just wish to throw their money away? Maybe, psychologically, they got the same boost of joy or pride others got but the "rain washers" got it out of the very act of washing, even if their auto was going to be clean only in the bay. This speaks of pretty temporary satisfaction.
I need to draw out the point once more. People feel better and drive better in a clean car. So, I am proposing a new law based on a pretty good principle that is sure to cut down on accidents through better defensive driving. Maybe, the state needs to pass a law that requires motorists to drive clean cars. I know there are few kinks to work on in that proposal such as, "How do you define "clean"? and "How do you expect people to clean their autos in inclement weather?"
Maybe someone can help me. I think I'm onto something here though. Safety first, I've always heard. And, come to think of it, law enforcement officers were some of our best clients.
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