Profiles in courage: Scylla at the car wash

I was on my lunch break expecting nothing out of the ordinary to occur as I went to wash my car.

I got in line behind a large white econoline van. As the van rolled into the bay, I astutely noticed that the height limit bar, that hung from a chain was rolling across the top of the van. As the van entered the bar fell down showing that the van was about 4 inches too large.

I’ve had great experience being four inches too large, and harkening back to my days as a Gigolo in Monte Carlo I could project what the consequences were going to be for the van and the automated car wash.

Sure enough the car wash starts and starts colliding with the top of the van in it’s effort to squeeze it’s 6’ “10 orifice around a 7’ 2” van. It would collide with a grinding sound, retreat and try again.

At this point my past experience useless as no amount of lube was going to help that van.

Thinking quickly after while apprising the situation I continued to watch the mechanized carnage with some humor.

Then, as the apparatus retreated for another fruitless attempt at penetration, I saw the door open to the van. A lady tried to get out, and then quickly retreated as she was sprayed by suds, and the car wash again collided with the top of the van.

This time I had to act.

Moving with the speed that you would pretty much expect from a bemused spectator, I walked up to the back of van and rapped on it sharply several times.

Shortly the door opened, and I offered to help the slightly unstrung lady, who gratefully accepted. I noted that she was rather attractive, if somewhat distressed.

I manuevered into the driver’s seat, put the van in reverse while the machinery retreated for another attempt, and backed it up about 6 inches.

This had the desired effect of turning the car wash off. The light on the car wash changed from “stop,” to “please proceed forward.”

Fortunately, I wasn’t fooled by this invitation.

I warned the lady not to trust the sign, exited the van, and she backed out.

She never said thank you, but just drove away into the distance, her van covered with suds, and not a few bumbs and scrapes.

I never saw her again.

Nor, did I hold it against her. As I said, she was somewhat unstrung.

Besides. I was next in line. I got a free six dollar superwash with wax, underbody, tire shine and blow dry off of her tab.
No need to shower me with adulation, friends. I am nothing if not modest about my heroism.

And that’s how it happened this day.

Between last night’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and this post I’ve decided I’ve got to go to the automatic car wash more often.

What freaks me out is the number of people who get out of their own cars while they’re being serviced just so they can walk along and watch someone else’s vehicle get hotwaxed. Then they all stand around by the cashier and try not to make eye contact with each other. Me? I prefer to do mine in the driveway.

Nice Scylla, I probably would have pulled up the proverbial lawnchair and watched the destruction. Good for her it was you and not I that was present that fateful day.

You know what they say, extreme circumstances make for unlikely heroes.

Don’t beat yourself up. I’m sure you would have been as equally courageous in similar circumstances.

It was really all in the adrenaline rush of the moment.

The worst moment was as I approached the van and got lightly squirted with warm soapy water.

Somehow though I was able to work through the pain and persevere.

I’m just thankful that God was with me to see me through.

It is only in the most trying times that we learn what we are truly capable of doing. Congratulations on surviving your trial by, um, soap.

Scylla, have you subitted your story to Reader’s Digest, yet?

<sports talk>
I knew if we went in focused, and held it together, we had a shot to pull this one out. I have the utmost respect for the carwash, and it was a tough opponent. Luckily we maintained our composure, and managed to hang on and get a “W”

Scylla, it’s people like you – the everyday heroes – who are the cornerstones of Western civilization. Please don’t ever change.

So, you didn’t get her number? :confused: :smiley:

True heroism.

I’m like this, too. The other day, I stopped early so as to leave an intersection clear, thus not blocking the passage for the gentleman entering said intersection from a side street.

People got out of their cars and applauded. Grown men wept. Women ripped off their clothes, and flung themselves onto the hood of my car.

Being a man of modesty, I politely waved and continued on, my mighty windshield wipers tossing nekkid women left and right.

The world needs more heroes like Scylla and myself.

We salute YOU, Mr. Too-Big Econoline Carwash Saviour Man!

<“real American heros” music plays>

You know, Coldfire, I try that sort of thing in the US all the time, and all that happens to me is that the people get out of their cars and assault me, people behind me weep, and women rip out their hair and fling obscenities at me.

Although I think what the world needs is more naked women throwing themselves at me.

Am I the only person appalled by this??? It’s understandable to fell pity for the mired Ford but by interfering with the natural order of things, Scylla has turned the delicate balance of the motorized kindom upside down. Now, thanks to the unnatural preponderance of unfettered Econolines , the US D.O.T. will have to thin out a section of Hondas, Suzukis and an Aston Martin just to prevent the total collapse of manual selection.

Remember, the 6’10" barrier is there for their survival as well as our own.

I think I will wait for the Movie of the Week for this drama. I’m sure it will be done during Sweeps Week.

This should be your sig line.

Oh sure, the big hero. It’s all fun and games until something goes wrong in your irresponsible little attempt at glory and then the professionals have to come and risk life and limb rescuing you as well.

But no, you had to impress the girls didn’t you?

You had to be a big shot, didn’t ya?
You had to prove it to the crowd.
You had to be big shot, didn’t ya?
Alll your friends were so knoced…
[sub]That’s weird. I just had a case of Deja Joel[/sub]

[Slowly raised hand into the air]

I did the same thing once. I drove a 15 passenger van for a vanpool. Metro decided I needed a new van and asked me to return my trusty GMC for a new Dodge. The GMC needed a wash and I used the van’s credit card for a wash and wax. Then I got in line and realized the van was about 4 inches too high. I left in a dirty van.

[Shuffles off meekly]

Actually, I was thinking of Sheryl Crow:

I actually thought that’s what this thread was gonna be about, but it didn’t dawn on me that such a discussion would belong in Cafe Society.

Way to go, Scylla!

Definitely sig material.