Groundhog Day and the Car Wash | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Groundhog Day and the Car Wash

I think it's amusing that the name a holiday which involves a rodent predicting the onset of spring based on whether or not he sees his shadow that day has evolved to mean something more along the lines of "redundant" or having the same thing happen to you over and over again.  I wonder what our pre-1993 ancestors would think if they heard people exclaim, "My life is like Groundhog Day!"   What a strange thing to compare life to, when you think about it.  And, of course, if you've never seen the dang movie.

That said, I appreciate Groundhog Day very much because it signifies the end of January.  Cold, blue, morose, snowy, dreary and awful January.  No offense if you enjoy the month, but I have issues with it.  February is still cold and snowy (especially around here), but at least it's pink instead of blue.

Although, if Punxsutawney Phil (I totally had to Google that spelling and it still looks weird) lived here in Houghton, he would have actually seen his shadow yesterday, thus predicting more winter.  Sure, the one day the sun decides to come out this year and it's Groundhog Day!  I'm still hoping for the early spring, anyway.

Due to the uncommonly sunny day, I decided to wash my car.  Even though I had just washed it last week, it was to the point where if you didn't know it was red, you wouldn't be able to tell.  So, Sophia and I dropped Chloe off to Daddy's office to sell Girl Scout cookies, dropped Bria off to orchestra, and went to the car wash.

Obviously, there was quite the line, it being such a nice day and all, but it wasn't too bad.  The lines for both stalls were the same length, so I just guessed at which one might move faster.  As for that, I guessed right.  Especially because the lady in front of me got out of her car and knocked on my window to tell me she was running out of gas and was too afraid to wait any longer, so could I please back up and let her out of line?


And then, when I was the third car in line, the wash malfunctioned.  The next car drove in and was told to back up.  Then drive forward. Then back up.  Then drive forward.  Poor woman was going back and forth with no way to get out of her predicament because the doors had closed.  Finally, a door opened after about 5 minutes and she was able to get out.  By this time, the cars in that line were backing up to get into the other line because no way were we going to risk that kind of behavior from the equipment!

By the time I got out of line I had already been waiting 1/2  hour at least, but I was going to now be about 7th in line, so Sophia and I decided to go to the bank first and come back to see if the line was any shorter.  When we got back it was indeed shorter, so we joined.  Nobody, of course, was in line for the machine that had malfunctioned, but shortly after I got there, the lady that had been running out of gas drove up and started putting her money in the "broken" machine.  I got out of my car to tell her what had happened earlier, but her money was already gone and she decided to risk it.

And wouldn't you know?  It worked just dandy fine for her.

Finally, it is my turn in the other line to put my own money in the machine, so I made my wash selection and started putting in the $9.00 I owed.  I put in a five-dollar bill, and the bill sucker immediately ate it and froze up.  There was nothing I could do.  Lucky for me, an employee drove up just then (presumably to fix the "malfunctioning" machine) and so I got out of the car to tell him what had happened.

I had to back up (again!) and let him take apart the machine.  He found my five jammed in with several other bills, made the wash selection and successfully put in the bills again without problem.  He even gave me a dollar off for the trouble.  But when the car ahead of me had finished being cleaned, the wash showed absolutely no inclination of letting me drive my car in.  No lights came on, no door opened, no computerized voice told me to go.

So I got out of the car again, went and told the employee and he finally got it to work.  I was laughing by this point, and Sophia was incredulous that such a comedy of errors was unfolding before her eyes.

"We are having a kooky day today, Mommy!"

Kooky day aside, my car is all clean and shiny now, despite it taking over an hour at the car wash.  Of course, by next week it will be unrecognizable again, and I will have to take it to the car wash.  Rinse and repeat.

It's just like Groundhog Day!

(Until spring, that is.)


  1. Sounds just like something that would happen to me. Hence the reason you can't tell our van is red.

    And our girls are completely and utterly convinced that Spring is coming early because of the rodent weatherman. I didn't have the heart to tell them that he's only been right about 36% of the time. That and the fatc tthat we live int he frozen mountain tops means we'll be lucky if we see green grass before June.

  2. I'm glad you could laugh about it. Some days I laugh and other days I almost lose it.

  3. I'm glad you could laugh! I probably would have been freaking out and impatient. Sounds like an an adventure for sure!

  4. what a great post! That is so funny and you are just too funny.

  5. Good for you for laughing about it. I probly would've been an ornery mess!

  6. Yikes! I hate car-wash nightmares. But I do love car-wash results. My husband's car is black and it shows everything so a wash is a mandatory thing in winter. Add to it the salt from the roads and it's a flippin' necessity!

  7. Love it!! I really need my car washed! It is brown in the winter and it is really supposed to be white. No car washes in my small town and it is way too cold for me to stand outside and do it myself.

  8. Well, at least you pulled out your sense of humor! Great example!

  9. AACK! That is funny that it happened on Groundhog's Day. And it is funny how that referral has become so prevalent in our speech. Glad you finally were able to get your car clean. It really was kooky, wasn't it?

  10. Sorry for your experience, but at least you could laugh about it.

    My dad is visiting, and the kids were talking about Groundhog Day (not the film, the "holiday") and my dad related a conversation he'd had with some German colleagues who'd seen the film, and thought it was funny. They had not realized however that the holiday was not just part of the silly made-up story. They wouldn't believe him at first that Americans really celebrated this day with this animal predicting the weather based on a shadow. It was just too ridiculous to be true! And really, I kinda have to agree with them!

  11. Well, I finally got caught up on your blog. I don't think I will ever actually be caught up on life ever again, but that's beside the point.

    I love your header. And I love that Sophia thought of the word "kooky." I think we need a blue SAD light at our house.

  12. It's so good you could laugh about this because it would make me want to punch someone.

  13. I would have given up WAY before that and lived with the dirty car. That is too funny. Nothing went right at all, did it?

  14. Hahaha! I don't think I would have liked to be working that shift!

  15. I always look forward to sunny days in the winter so my van can finally get clean. I don't look forward to anything eating my $5 though.

  16. I keep telling myself that all the rain we get here is just like going to the car wash. Right? Right?? Sigh.

    Here's to an early spring, and a breaking of the Groundhog Day cycle—unless that cycle includes watching the movie over and over, because I can get behind that.