Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Return of the Car Wash - by Lezah

Here's a particular trend I've noticed lately, and I was quite curious about it until a friend explained the fairly mundane and pragmatic reason behind its rise.  
Remember drive-though car washes with the spray and the shampoo and the huge big rollers?  Well, drive-through car washes are back - not that they ever disappeared completely, but they certainly had their heyday back in the '70s when we as a society were still emerging from the '50s car culture which spawned both drive-in movies and drive-in restaurants.  There was even a movie in the late '70s called Carwash, if you can believe it.  But, like disco music, the late '70s saw the boom and bust of many trends, including car washes.  But now for the echo...

Car washes are back, big time, and they're being built (in my area, anyway) on practically every available corner.  We took our vehicle through one of these cultural freakzoids recently, and it turns out for $10 you can get the deluxe version (called the Typhoon).  Unfortunately, while the front, top and sides of the car were gleaming afterwards, the entire back of the vehicle was still coated in dirt.  I see they're actually expanding this particular car wash already, so figure they're upgrading to the 'tsunami' version now (sorry, bad taste!).

The other trend I have noticed is that about half of these places that have been built over the last two years now have big for sale signs in front of them, so perhaps there is just too much competition.

Turn out that the reason behind the rise of this trend is fairly simple:  many people are living in condos and townhouse developments now, and a lot of these place either lack the facilities for washing one's car, or else have outright bans on residents doing so.  So, people have one of two options:  dirty car, or car wash.
Fortunately, I don't have the above problem, so in the future I will once again be dragging the hose out and washing my car in my driveway (and saving my $10!) - at least until they unveil the latest model, the tsunami, which can maybe wash right over my whole car...

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