Life Changing Car Wash  (July 12th 2008)

My faith in free enterprise and endeavour has been restored by a life-changing experience - in a car wash!

Let me explain.

I drive, as many of my constituents know, a battered old Ford Mondeo diesel estate (upon which I shall, no doubt, before long be paying as much road tax as I would pay upon a Rolls Royce!).  My car, like the home that Suzy and I live in, is run chiefly for the benefit of our domestic animals and in the case of the car for the use of two large Newfoundland dogs and their chauffeur.  Newfies like swimming and by mid summer the interior of the car stinks. There is no other word for it.

This week my youngest son, together with his bride and two friends, is taking the Mondeo on holiday to France. One of his friends is allergic to animal hair and as the car normally contains enough fluff to knit a man-size sweater out of the beast had to be cleaned.  Hence the visit to the car-wash.

I do not wish to give away closely-guarded secrets or to swamp them with business but the emporium that my son recommended is located between Sarre and Sturry, at Hersden.  Immediately upon arrival my door was opened and I was offered a choice of wash, mini-valet, full mini-valet or, so far as I could see, a complete makeover.  As I settled on the full mini-valet the power spray was already hitting the nearside of the car and an army of young men descended on the vehicle.  When I asked how long the operation would take I was told (and did not believe) "about fifteen minutes".  I did not even have time to read the two papers that I had taken with me before I was politely informed that the car was ready when I was and that they were sorry to have kept me waiting.  I do not regard fifteen minutes flat as an imposition!

The exterior of the car was as gleaming as its wear and tear will allow. Where a hub cap is missing the wheel rim had been blackened. (Why did I not take all of the caps off and have done with it?!)  Inside, the dog hair and the slobber stains had vanished, the trim was gleaming with polish and the car smelt, literally, of roses.  I was greeted with a five pound note prepared in exchange for an anticipated and offered twenty pound note, I was treated throughout with exceptional politeness and the team that worked on the car were cheerful and industrious.  So far as I am aware they had no idea that the bloke who turned up in jeans and a sweatshirt was one of the local MPs and had they known I do not suppose that they would have cared. 

In addition to a car that is clean on the outside and habitable on the inside I have been hugely encouraged to stumble across an enterprise that deserves to make its young staff wealthy. I wish them well and I shall certainly go back

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