I went to the car wash in the rain

I did. Last Thursday. I went to the car wash in the rain.

And that was, by far, not the weirdest thing about last Thursday. You all, seriously. What a weird fucking day.

It started with me missing my exit for work. At a job I’ve had for eight years.

In my defense, they’ve been changing this exit shit up for a few years now. Also, it was dark and I was behind a semi. I did not see that the configuration had changed. Again.

I was at about the part where I drift over to catch the exit only lane, and realized there was a fucking concrete wall.

I missed my exit and almost smashed up my car. Yay.

I had to cut over on the “around the city” expressway and double back. Only one exit, no big deal, but still, that concrete wall made my knees weak. I had no idea it had changed up again.

So, I pulled into the lot at my job. Lights are flashing on the building. Like emergency lights. Or “there’s been a major power outage” kind of lights.

But these lights are not covered in the handbook and there were other cars in the parking lot. I get there early, but there are usually 4 or 5 people in the office before me. By 7:30 am, there are 10 or 12 people. I got there late because I was already running late and then I missed my exit. It was nearly 7:30 when I got there.

This is what I learned about myself that morning. When I was already goddamn shaky because of the whole “concrete” wall thing.

I learned that if I were a character in a horror movie, I’d be the dumbass who doesn’t grab their shit and leave at the first sign of weirdness.

No. I am the one that goes “Hey, let’s see what is going” and then makes a lot of unnecessary noise.

I work in retail. The corporate offices sit above a large showroom. I parked on the side of the building where employees park and started up the stairwell. The lights in the stairwell were flickering in a way that I can only describe as “haunted”.

Then I walked into the offices and all the lights were freaking out. Down at the exec end, where the owner, president, and the CFO dwell? Those lights were going off like a strobe. All the spaces in between were just turning off and on by themselves.

A monitor in the middle cube farm kept flashing solid red and green, over and over, like a fucking Christmas office horror movie or something.

My room was lit up and not flickering. So, I unlocked the door and went in.

Here is where this was the weirdest fucking thing ever.

There were no humans.


The office is usually fairly bustling by then and the parking lot pretty much said that the office should be bustling as expected.

But there were no humans. None.

So, what did I do? Get my stuff and leave? No, I started recording a video while walking up and down the hallways saying “Where are the humans?”

I sent the video to Randy and then called my boss to ask him what was fucking going on. He didn’t know what I was talking about. So I told him all the humans were gone and the office was haunted. I had to explain it to him a few times. He had no idea what was going on.

I hung up from my boss and got a text from a co-worker. She said there was a power outage and everyone was down in the showroom by a Christmas tree that for whatever reason, had lights. The rest of the showroom was dark.

That’s where the humans were. Stretched out on couches and recliners around a lone lit Christmas tree. I sat down there for about five minutes and decided that upstairs, even with the haunted lights, was better because no people. No idea why the lights were freaking out because of a power outage, but they were. It was creepy as fuck. The morning was half over by the time the power came back on. I was behind on my work, but completely caught up on Words with Friends. 

Which brings me going to the car wash in the rain.

I’ve been taking my car to a car wash at lunch a few times a week for months now. It is a mental health break. I think it might be an obsession now, but what the fuck ever. It makes me feel good. I go through the washer, then park in a bay and eat my lunch, then vacuum out my car.

After my haunted morning, I wanted nothing more than to hang out at the car wash and soothe my brain. But it was raining like a motherfucker.

And who gets their car washed when it’s raining? Crazy people.

Or, people with a monthly pass.

I mean, since I do this so often, it only makes sense to spend $14.99 for an unlimited monthly pass.

I had a fucking pass. I could go if I wanted.

So I did.

They were not closed, but they didn’t follow normal procedure. Instead of scanning my pass, they just asked my last name. My last name is Combs, which is fairly common.

Anyway, there must be another “Combs” who pays for the “ultimate” pass because I got the works. I got the hot wax and the under carriage wash. All of it.

I didn’t mind the rain as I vacuumed out my car. There were no cars around me and it was glorious. Also, nothing appeared to be haunted.

I am super glad it is the weekend. I am tired.

I like weird shit, but it’s kind of exhausting.

The nice people from the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop sent me a link to my standup performance. It was fun, but if I want to perform, I have some work to do.


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  • So, Karen Caruso huh. Live and learn.
    Concrete walls – LIVE and learn.
    I hate Semi’s. Clearly they need to exist, but I wonder how many accidents they’ve caused because no one can see around them. We ran a red light because we couldn’t see over the truck and almost got nailed, and it was totally our fault. Sort of.

    Did your business have any customers that day? The strobing would have set off flash-backs for me, but your office would have been a dream come true as far as work goes. Reading, playing, anything you wanted to do – ALL. BY. YOURSELF.

    Have a great Holiday/Christmas/Kwanza(a)/New Years!

  • Is it wrong to be totally entertained by other people’s weird happenings….I think not. Thanks. You made me smile this morning. I also love the drive through wash and have been contemplating the monthly pass. The only thing is it doesn’t get the car clean enough like the windows and what not. I break down a few times a year and get the real deal. I would like that to happen more often but $. The rates have gone up some here in Cali..water shortage and all. At the drive through they recycle the water..that’s something. Hope your holidays are Merry and Bright. 🙂

  • I never thought about it before but you just might be the most likely person to survive a horror film. You walk right into where the lights are flashing and everything is empty like a total badass. You want to know what’s going on. And you stay there. If I were the monster in a horror film you know where I’d go? The showroom. Because that’s where all the people are.
    And you got out of there and washed your car before anything bad could happen. It doesn’t matter that you did it in the rain.

    • Haha, that is very kind, but no way I’d be the survivor. Unless, somehow, my own brand of gracelessness saves me? But mostly, it just makes me run into things and sometimes fall down.

  • When we were living in Rohnert Park, we didn’t need any weather forecasts. No, all we needed was to see whether Briana was washing the car or not. If she was, it would rain. Every. Damn. Time. I don’t know whether she has native American ancestry or not, but no rain dance I am familiar with has ever had that kind of success rate.
    The storm hit, and is pretty much passed. There is some snow on the ground, but not too much. Saturday, though, the power went out for a couple of hours, which is somewhat stressful because of that one time when it was out for six days. Thankfully, not this time, at least so far.
    The cardigan is adorable.

  • SAME Michelle, same! About the car wash pass, not the flashing lights in your office. That would probably give me a seizure or something. But I LOVE being able to go thru the car wash whenever I want and have definitely gone when it’s raining. I feel like we would be friends. I identify with pretty much everything you write about.

  • I’m in a new position at the college for which I work. Though not officially in my job description, I found myself in charge of decorating a state vehicle for two Christmas parades. Not my forte, btw, but I got it done. One of the few co-workers who assisted me with this endeavor, inadvertently used some cheap-ass, dollar-store, double-stick tape to place little cutout gingerbread men all over the van…I mean on the van paint for christ’s sake! I used half a bottle of Goo Gone and the damn adhesive will not completely come off. After an hour and a half of this effort, I took the van and ran it through a car wash, which I utilized to have a mini breakdown, including ugly crying, to prepare myself for having to go tell my boss what was up. It all ended up okay because maintenance took over. The moral of the story, a car wash is 100% therapeutic and discreet for ugly crying!

By Michelle

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