A Nerd's Revenge

A not so serious look at life.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Car Wash

I live in a small apartment complex that has about sixteen units, one of which, is probably illegal because it is so small. If you were to drive down a narrow, but sunny alley you would find yourself in the back where a small laundry room, several parking spaces, a clothesline, and a lonely punching bag hangs from a tree. A Dane who lives towards the rear of the building hung the bag one day intending on becoming the next heavy weight champion. Unfortunately, his training regimen included massive quantities of beer and cigarettes. I think he may have punched on the bag a grand total of twice. Training ground or not, it is a relatively quiet place that I sometimes use to wash my car.

The other day I had done just that. Armed with my hose, wash mitt and various cleaning products I attacked my Jeep until it shined. As I sat there admiring my handiwork I began to notice the small forlorn car parked next to mine. It was filthy; covered in dust, tar and bird droppings. Then the idea struck me. I am going to do something nice for a total stranger. I imagined the surprise on their face when they walked outside and found a clean, shiny car waiting for them. In a good mood I started to work, but as I scrubbed my mind began to race. What happens if this person comes outside and finds me doing this? Would there be an akward moment? Would they thank me or call the police? This is Los Angeles. People don't do this kind of thing for each other out here. I resolved to do a thorough, but quick job.

I had just finished toweling off this stranger's car and was putting up my stuff when an attractive girl walked outside and made her way over. "Shit", I thought. I didn't want to be near the scene of the crime. This could be bad. L.A. girls aren't the nicest on the planet., especially towards total strangers. Not that L.A. women are necessarily born mean spirited, but I think they become a product of their environment . This place is definitely full of slimey men . She stopped and looked at her car. I heard a deep but feminine voice ask, "Did you wash my car"? "Uh, yeah", I replied. I nervously laughed. She looked at me and said, "Thanks, man. It needed it". She jumped in her car and drove off. I was relieved. Turns out she is the girlfriend of a guy who lives in the complex.

A few days later we had some construction workers repairing the apartment adjacent to ours. Tejano music drifted up from their truck which was parked so that it temporarily blocked the top of the alley. Suddenly, I heard a car horn blaring. I looked out the window of our apartment. The same girl was driving down the alley from her usual parking space in the back. She had started about 50 yards away and drove straight up to the truck never once letting go of her horn. Abruptly the noise stopped and she leaned out her open window and screamed, "Move your fuck-ing truck now" at the one guy who happened to be close. I don't think he spoke a lick of English, but he obviously wasn't the driver. Then she popped back inside and again jammed down on the horn. The man managed to get the keys from another worker who dropped them from the roof. A minute later he had moved the truck. The girlfriend shouted several more expletives at the guy and then tore off down the street. I watched her leave.

Her car sparkled.