“The proud wish God would agree with them. They are not interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s” -Ezra Taft Benson
Are you a waxer? I suppose waxing the car was never hugely popular with the masses; here follow some real honest to God quotes about car waxing that I did not make up:
“Foresooth, I cannot be bothered to wax, tis a bane!” -Benjamin Franklin
“Rubbing wax on automobiles in little circles is the sign of an infantile mind.” -Albert Einstein
“The waxer doth neglect that which is critical for that which is vanity, he shall receive but perdition for his labour.” -St. Francis
“A car waxing man exhibits an unresolved childhood sexual neurosis.” -Sigmund Freud
I confess freely before men that I am a waxer.
Today was my annual wax the truck day. Used to be, in my flaming youth, I waxed every three months. Then, as paints improved (or perhaps age crept up) my waxing slowed to twice a year. Now, in these Latter Daze™, I wax once each time around the sun. Perhaps I’m a Plinker now, slacking off.
When the day came this year I followed my usual procedure, wash the truck the night before, buy new wax and rubbing compound and bonnets, rise early.
These days I always do a double dose day, rubbing compound first then wax second. Long ago I gave up doing it all by hand, too old for that sheet. A Harbor Freight buffer, $19.95, and Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and Turtle Wax do the job. The Wax Guru Guys™ on the Internetz will tell you that you must use clay bars from the mud of the sacred Indus River, compounds formulated by Tibetan monks made from the tears of Bodhisattvas, and only natural, gluten free, non GMO waxes created on planetary alignment days by Hobbits centuries ago before modern pollution and atomic testing and Barry Manilow ruined everything.
Bah. I’ve used cheap waxing crap for nigh on forty years and it’s just fine.
But each time I wax, doubts plague me. Am I too old to be doing this? Isn’t this just pure unadulterated vanity? Shouldn’t I have grown up and left this sort of pridefulness behind?
Isn’t this sort of thing, worrying about a shiny car, for teenagers? And why, in the name of YHWH, am I still doing this myself? If I insist on wax then ought I to be paying someone to do this now? But there’s the rub, I don’t trust anyone else to do it, they aren’t good enough. No one else is worthy to rub my paint. So I do it.
“He understood well enough how a man with a choice between pride and responsibility will almost always choose pride.” -Stephen King
Who am I doing this for? To impress others certainly, no denying that factoid. I could couch it in more clever lingo, that it’s to “protect my investment”, for “longterm maintenance and sustainability”, and such, and maybe some people wax for those reasons. Of course it makes me feel darn good to have a freshly shined whip, and I like to assure myself that if it never left the garage and no one saw it but me it’d still be worth it. But again that doubt nags at me that I ought to be more grow’ed up than this.
None of my friends wax their cars. Moved on. In my youth we’d all gather our cars in a circle on someone’s lawn and wax them together. Good times. Laughing, joking, mocking, talking about cars and girls, “Karen doesn’t like you because you, unlike me, got no personality!”, listening to Depeche Mode, the Eagles and Styx. One by one they all fell away, marriage then kids then golf games and the office, until it’s just me now, waxing along in the garage, nothing but the sound of a fan and the buffer to interrupt the silence.
Chrome is my favorite color. The more the better.
“Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.” -St. Vincent de Paul
Yeah, uh, I, uh, still black the tires. I know I know, juvenile. Should an elderly man of my advanced years be blacking his tires like he’s 17 and about to Cruise Chester Ave.
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” -C.S. Lewis
As we come to the end I black all the black because it makes me happy. Or does it? Well, yeah it does actually. Silly though, not something I go around telling people about, not in this climate. “Hey guess what?? I like to black my tires!” Yeah, that’ll go over well at the watercooler.
And so it is done for another year. And so I ask again, dost thou wax?