Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to Inefficiently wash a mini-van in suburbia.*

First of all, invite your children to help you. This instills responsibility in them and family bonding time. Also, if you leave them in the house, they will unquestionably break something.

Don a bathing suit top. With your children’s assistance, you will undoubtedly get wet.

Get out the crate that husband assembled with all car-washing/polishing/detailing materials in one location. (Try not to develop complex that he is capable of this, yet doesn’t know where his socks are or that YOU are incapable of creating a similar system IN THE HOUSE for your regular chores.)

Spray wheels with that crap your husband insists gets them clean. Wipe with brush. Have children spray car down in the meantime.

Repeat above for each wheel. Have children rinse wheels.

Realize that the crap your husband insists get the wheels clean needs to be rinsed WHILE IT IS STILL WET, or else you just have SMEARED wheels instead of dirty wheels.

Repeat wheel process again for ALL FOUR wheels. Have children spray wheels when you finish.

Yell at kids to SPRAY THE CAR, NOT MOMMY!!

Analyze wheels. Realize the brush does not reach in every stinking nook and cranny in the wheels and realize there are a lot of nook and crannies in wheels.

Repeat wheel process this time WITH A SPONGE!

Yell at kids to SPRAY THE CAR, NOT MOMMY!!

Make small talk with neighbor.

Go inside and get a drink of water.

Check blog comments.

Read 3 blog posts.

Go back to car and have children spray entire car again.

Yell at children to SPRAY THE CAR, NOT MOMMY!!

Have children fill bucket with water and add some car soap. Rinse sponges.

Wave to neighbor passing by and laugh when they say….wait for it…WAIT FOR IT….. “When you are finished, you can do mine in the driveway.” BOO-Yah! BWAHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!

Start with front of the mini-van. The amount of bugs encrusted on the grill, windshield and license plates may seem over-whelming, but you will be burnt out on cleaning the van if you wait to do the front until later.

Enlist children to help you wash the van with sponges and rags. Show them how to scrub off half a fly and ¼ of a mosquito and ¾ of a moth, etc.

Yell at kids to use the sponges ON THE CAR NOT ON THE MULCH!

Rinse kids’ sponges.

Suggest the kids wash their bikes while we are at it.

Move to the sides and back of the van.

Curse the inventors of asphalt as you use your fingernail more than your sponge for the lower half of the van.

Go to beer fridge to get a drink.

Go inside and check blog comments.

Read 3 more blogs.

Go back out. Look for children to rinse car. Not present – listen for screams. No screams, assume all is well.

Rinse car and get out towels or chamois for drying.

Realize this van is really freaking tall and you are NOT, and get out a stepstool or small ladder, because you forgot the TOP OF THE van.

Get out the little Simonize brush extension thing your husband bought and never uses for the top of the van because you can’t reach it. Be prepared for children’s newfound interest in car-washing with the introduction of a new tool that squirts water.

Wash the top of the van.

Help each child climb ladder to also have their turn in washing the top of the van realizing this would be easier if you just set the ladder up somewhere else because it is all about climbing the freakin' ladder, not washing the van.

Wash the front of the van again because you will undoubtedly find enough bugs to populate a reasonably-sized colony embedded all over the grill, headlights, etc. that you missed the first time.

Rinse van AGAIN since new soap from top has dripped down the side.

Quickly dry van trying futilely to mitigate the water spot problem.

Go get another drink from the beer fridge.

Have a deep discussion with next neighbor who sees you out and hasn’t seen you in a while.

Go inside to cool off.

Check blog comments.

Read 3 more blogs.

Go back out to hear children screaming. Take the hose away from the one bully-squirting the other and squirt the bully feeling only slightly bad as he runs away screaming and crying.

Get out hose in back for both children to have a hose of their own and make individual mud puddles. Aplogize to the bully, but only AFTER you make him apologize to his sibling, first.

Force a smile as neighbor who is walking dog says…wait for it….WAIT FOR IT “Hey, when you’re finished. You can do mine in the driveway.” BOO-YAH!

Get out supplies for yearly waxing of the beast.

First have another drink from the beer fridge.

Hide drink from the knowing,judgemental glances of other neighbor walking by.

Add wax to entire vehicle cursing the amount of surface area the entire time.

Resist urge to lick the face of male neighbor who says he’d whistle at you if he knew how because you look so good.

Remember neighbor and his wife read this blog and remind yourself to ensure they know above comment is, in fact, sarcasm, as your face-licking loyalties lie with your husband.

Find an old sock (preferably clean) to wipe off car wax.

First, have another drink. Hydration is KEY!!

Wipe off car wax, cursing the surface area amount the entire time.

When third neighbor walks by saying… wait for it….WAIT FOR IT… “Hey, when you’re finished, you can do mine in the driveway,” reply with, “I only do my husband in the driveway.” And salute him with your beer. Do not expect long-term friendship.

Look at watch and realize it just took you 3-1/2 hours to finish to this point and the interior has not been touched. Calculate that you could have taken it to the Red Carpet Car Wash for $20, and realize that at this rate, you are making about $4/hour by the time you finish the interior.

Decide to NOT finish the interior today. Put away all supplies.

Go inside to check blog comments and read a couple more blogs.

Look at watch again and realize it is dinnertime, and you just spent the last 4 hours on the van (and small talking with neighbors and blog-reading.)

Go to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner with family. Give kids several dollars worth of quarters for video games. Order more beer and lots of wings. Play Texas Hold Em with husband on video monitors.

Realize you could have taken the car to the car wash for WAY cheaper than it just cost to go to Buffalo Wild Wings.

Go for a walk the next day. See a neighbor washing their mini-van. Make small talk by saying, “Hey, when you’re finished, you can do mine in the driveway.”

* Events, occurrences, dialogue and personalities are PROBABLY fictional. The content of this blog was not necessarily meant to depict any actual person or event.



  1. I can't recall ever seen you clean your mini van in the drive way in Canada! But I remember the numerous times we had lots of small/big talk in the front yard! Till the mosquitoes came...

  2. You have a BEER fridge?! Go, you!

  3. Yeah... I'm gonna need some pictures for this post (especially for the spraying of the mommy part). Thank you.

    Wings? The day was not wasted.

  4. ha ha ha That sounds so funny! I think I want to see pics of this, too!!

  5. Where are your pictures? Teehee... those would be priceless. ;)

  6. This was exhausting to read and it was so true and so funny! I loved, "Go back out. Look for children to rinse car. Not present – listen for screams. No screams, assume all is well." - HA! I washed my van a couple of days ago and this post perfectly described how it went with me and Little Billy and Alexis!

    Have a good evening - Kellan

  7. Its always nice to still get compliments from a male (even if its your neighbor)!!!

    Its such a project for me to clean my car too! I usually have a plastic bag with me and whenever I am waiting for the kids at school or something I go around and throw things away! Sometimes that's the extent of clean for me!

  8. I also love the comment, "Go outside, listen for screams, hearing no screams assume all is okay." Oh, young grasshopper. In another year or two the previous comment will be replaced with, "Hearing no screams, go on search for children and find them up a tall tree/on the roof/showing their privates to neighbors/etc." This is my world. Watch and laugh.

  9. What's in the fridge?

    Oh, and I love the comment about only dong your hubby in the driveway. I may have to steal it.... ;)

  10. AnonymousJune 24, 2008

    My kids...my kids are why I DON'T wash my own car. I don't think my sanity could handle it! LOL! Plus, it's hard to have a glass of wine while washing the van. ;)

  11. Hard to believe that after all that you actually end up with a clean mini van. Images would be awesome!!!

  12. No pictures? A beer fridge?

  13. I am totally dying laughing here!!

    And maybe when you are done, you can come to AZ and wash mine!

    Your *fictional* comeback to the last guy had me rolling on the floor!

    Great post angie! Thanks for reminding me that I am a good person for using the drive thru car wash! :)

  14. We didn't get a picture of the amazing job after all that? Haha!

    I will keep in mind that it is cheaper to take the car somewhere to get washed! So funny!

  15. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, didn't it? Thanks for reminding me not to try it.

  16. AnonymousJune 25, 2008

    GREAT story...

    Driveway..hoses..hot day..
    Beer is the PERFECT drink.

    That is some funny stuff... lol..half way though I'm thinking.."damn, take it to the car wash"...lol

  17. AnonymousJune 25, 2008

    absolutely. the. funniest!!! =)thanx for the laugh, seriously! i'm printing this out to show/remind the husband of why the computer is sooo theraputic for me!
    hee,hee love it!

  18. This is why I go to the car wash and pay them to do it. I take the kids and we eat gummy worms. Family time with more sugar and less fatigue.

  19. AnonymousJune 25, 2008

    This may be the funniest thing I have read in a while.. I loved the wait for it..wait for it.. and your post is the reason I go to the car wash.. but I am kinda liking the adding beer to the home car washin bit.. :)

  20. LOL! What a great post :)
    I'm such a lazy car washer. Unless there's bird poop threatening my paint, I wait for heavy rain :(

    A beer fridge? That's awesome!

  21. That was kinda like the last time I hand washed my mini-van (except for the flattering comments by the male neighbor). And this would be why I take the van to the carwash on the corner now.

    Nice blog by the way. Found it through your very nice comment on "Playgroups are no Place for Children".

  22. You know, this almost sounded fun.


  23. AnonymousJune 26, 2008

    Oh. My. Goodness. Angie. I am you.
    You are me.

    We are one.

    I bought some Killians Irish Red today. Hope it's good.

    I'd have been passed out on the driveway by number three, though.


  24. You are my hero! I do NOT wax... why? Because I tend to get tired 1/2 way through the waxing and it just looks very tacky to drive around town with half of the car shiny and the other half ... well... not.

    Hubby has spray on, lightly wipe off polishy stuff - but of course to get the really GOOD shine, you have to have mucho upper body strength... and you have to care that much... and well... I don't..

    You had me laughing like crazy!

  25. I am having a hard time typing I am laughing so hard!! "I only do my husband in the driveway" LOL!!!!
    That one is going to make me smile all day long!! Thanks!!

  26. Despite your disclaimer, this story could have been written about me - except I would never bother with wax - that's what husbands are for.

  27. HILARIOUS post!! And exactly the reason why I love that my neighbor owns a car wash!

  28. I needed these a few days ago, when my son summarily sprayed hard, icy water up my nose. Accidentally of course.

    Maybe I'll just leave it to my hubby.

  29. Dropped by from Mrs. G's to see your house but maybe you aren't open for visitors yet.

    Enjoyed your post - we have a ban on washing cars here due to drought so I have to get my spray from the hose vicariously.


  30. ... spray the car, not mommy! and I only do my husband in the driveway... ROFL!! I'm betting you could make watching paint dry sound like fun! ;o)