I took the pickup in for a wash job yesterday. It was the first time it had been washed since May, due to our drought-related water usage restrictions. As you might imagine, the truck was badly in need of a good scrubbing.
A lot of other people had decided to do the same thing, so I found myself in a line of about a dozen cars. The line moved slowly so I had time to observe some things...such as the fact that I was driving the only vehicle that truly needed a wash job.
Seriously. The white Lexus SUV that was ahead of me looked pristine, and every other car in sight had no visible signs of dirt and grime. It made me wonder how many of the owners had their cars washed as a matter of habit. "Oh, it's Saturday morning; time to get the car washed." Frankly, this kind of mindset has no place in a region that's received less than 4" of rain during the past year, and the lakes supplying most of the drinking water are drying up.
There may come a time in the next few months that car washes will be banned completely. That will, of course, be a terrible blow to those whose livelihoods are derived from providing that service, but the luxury of a clean car cannot compete with the necessity of having water to drink.
But, for now, sitting in that line of clean cars, I came up with a few simple guidelines to help you know When You Can Wash Your Car During A Drought*.
- White vehicles cannot be washed. Don't whine. You know good and well you picked out that boring white car for the sole reason that it doesn't show dirt and dust like darker colors. So, own it, and live with it.
- Black vehicles cannot be washed. You knew what you were getting into when you picked out that bad boy. Own it, and live with it.
- Clean vehicles cannot be washed. And by clean, I mean if you can tell the true color of the vehicle by looking at it, it's not dirty enough to require washing.
I hope these simple rules will prove effective in prolonging our scarce resources. There's no shame in driving a dirty car at this point in time. Just like having a dead lawn indicates you're a good steward of water, a filthy car shows that you really care about our water supply.
*These rules do not apply to those who are willing to hand wash their cars using Ozarka water or cheap beer.