Keeping it clean

”Your car is filthy!” was the first thing Pickle said as we left the Bakery in Rainy River the other morning post caffeine and toast. The occasion was my eye exam that included pupil dilation which required I have a driver for the post exam trip unless I wanted to sit in Fat Frantic for half the day or conversely drive home by “feel”. I agreed the car was filthy and Pickle suggested he would run it through the car wash while I had my eyes peered into.

Pickle dropped me at Doc Peepers and money in hand sped off for the super-duper automatic auto wash at the other end of town.

I settled in to be questioned, documented, and warned, “This will sting a bit and you will be blind as a bat for the next six hours. Do you have your sunglasses? Someone to drive you home?”

All approved, the drops were applied and they did sting a bit. “Don’t be such a wimp and keep your hands to yourself!” I was advised as I grasped wildly for a tissue to staunch the cascade of tears the drops set off.

Apparently the first, soft cloth I had grasped was not a tissue.

I settled peacefully behind my shades, and as the burn faded so did the focus of my vision so I settled back for a little snooze dreaming of the nice clean car I could now have in the drive.

I was roused from my nap by a rather heated cacophony of voices coming down the hall from reception.

“Where is that tall, skinny, streak of misery?” (plus other bad words)

It sounded like Pickle. Hope he didn’t smash up my car, I wondered.

Pickle burst into the waiting room roaring, “WHERE’S THE KEY FOB? (plus two more bad words).

I meekly extracted the FOB from my pocket explaining, “Your fault. You never asked me for it when I got out of the car. You know how bad my memory is. Where is the car?”

“It shut down just as it was my turn to enter the wash bay, so it’s blocking the car wash entrance!” he explained.

“And that machine won’t take cash. Too many B&E experts in this town. You need a debit card and I don’t have one!” Pickle explained. I wanted to ask why but I already knew. Pickle’s frugal nature carries no cash beyond the price of a coffee, that way he avoids impulse purchases. After all he’s retired and on a fixed income.

Pickle roared back down the hall.

“I gotta go! My ride is waiting. Be lucky if there isn’t a lynch mob waiting for me,” he snorted and added in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, “I’ll be back… maybe.”

Pickle did come back without suffering aggravated bodily assaults, then we went back to the car wash and I guided him through the intricacies of using a debit card.

“Make sure you roll up the windows before you start into the wash bay,” I advised unsure if he understood things like electric windows.

I think he shot me a withering glare, but I’m not sure as my vision had not yet cleared and the mutterings were beyond comprehension as I was not wearing my hearing aids.