Sound battle while at a local car wash

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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After the big hail storm, I  decided to try out the new car wash down in Valley.  This one is different:  in this one you pay, go through the car wash, then you vacuum your car.  Different. Okay.

I pulled in, paid my money (it was more expensive than the other one), came out the other end  with my Jeep as fresh and shiny as a new penny, and pulled around to vacuum my car.  So far, so good.

As I pulled around, I noticed a man and a woman vacuuming out their vehicle—him on the driver’s side, her on the passenger’s. 

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Lo and behold it was my old friends Dave and Marge.  You remember them.  They were the ones who drove around and decorated our roadsides with their trash.  Gosh, I’ve missed them.

But something wasn’t quite right.

Every door on their vehicle was flung open, and the sound system was turned up so loud that our unmanned space probe on Mars was vibrating.  I won’t describe what sort of “music” it was—to each his own—but I’ve always said that you can’t describe that sort of “music” without writing “is not” between the describing adjective and the noun.  I’ll let you chew on that for a while.

No sane person would have their music that loud unless they were all but stone deaf.  Decent people are taught not to impose themselves on everyone around them.  So I knew then and there that both of them must have been struck deaf. And I’ve never felt so sorry for a couple.

But I was pleased to learn that no one around was opposed to loud music. I like loud music. I walked to the front of my Jeep, turned on a Beethoven symphony, and twisted the dial to high. Then I learned something fascinating. Not only is Beethoven loud, but my speakers were better than theirs.

Since they couldn’t hear, they must have felt the Beethoven.  They stopped vacuuming and turned to look at me.  I’ve never felt so sorry for someone in my life.  Some people—not me—would have interpreted the initial look on their faces as shock, anger even.  And some would have thought that their shock looked a lot like white-hot fury. But not me. I knew this to be the look of people who were pleased that someone would play Beethoven so they could hear it. I felt so good.

I could tell that by allowing them to listen to good music,  I’d changed their lives.  But I could also tell that before giving up their “sounds’ for actual music, that they wanted one more good listen, one more indulgence in their old ways.

I saw Dave get into his front seat, sit down at his radio, and furiously try to dial his sounds even louder.  Poor man.  He didn’t realize that he’d already turned the volume up as high as it would go.  Beethoven overrode his thumping beat.

He was a good 25 yards away from me, but I can still see him jump out of his vehicle, and I can still hear him slam his door in frustration.   He turned toward me and put his hands on both hips.

He began walking toward me—I just know it was to thank me for exposing him to good music—but his wife, showing a bit of humility, stopped him. 

I knew that my hard-of-hearing friend was trying to send thanks and appreciation just by using his mind.  He appeared to be on a low frequency, but I appreciated his efforts.

I waived sweetly and turned back to cleaning out the detritus from my own vehicle. 

They must have been frustrated at their inability to hear.  As they drove, they slowed beside me.  I couldn’t hear what they were shouting—Beethoven was too loud. But I’m certain that it was some sort of thanks.  I waved at them.

It was when they waved back that I understood the grimace on their faces. They had obviously suffered a serious injury to their hands.  When they waved at me, all of their fingers did not work.  Poor people.  But I was glad they were enjoying the Beethoven.

Bless them.

So if you see Dave and Marge at the car wash, be kind.  They seem good enough, but they are suffering from some obvious disabilities. 

Take pity, and be nice. 

But don’t wave. They’ll wave back.