It’s a bit ‘Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life’. When I was little, the chore I would do to earn a tiny amount of pocket money (unprotected as I was by any minimum wage legislation) was to wash the car. But I just loved washing the car. Bubbly, soapy water. Sponges. Splashing. It’s as close as I got to caring about cars.
Each of the darling little old ladies as they pottered past in turn declared, ‘You’ve chosen the day for it!’ ‘The rain,’ (it was drizzling), ‘will do half my job for me.’ In a sarcastic way I really did pick the day for it: I won’t wash the car on a tube strike day again – much of the game could also have been called ‘Dodging Cars!’
My neighbour told me my hands must be freezing, but I’d filled the bucket with pretty hot water. And anyway, I’m fully lost in the experience of what, for me, is definitely Play.
I’ll admit that when I stepped out of the house during a break in the driving rain I did wonder if the car even needed a wash. It very soon became clear that rain may remove the superficial (hooray, no bird poop to clean), but it leaves caked-on dirt.
There’s something fun about how the first pass just makes any particular section dirtier. Muck that was safe deposited in cracks and joins streams out, streaking everywhere below. Then, sploshing and swishing you drive the streaks away. Half the dirt seemed to have accumulated on the hubcaps – and now I see the truth of the stereotype of the proud car owner who makes his hubcaps gleam: they really do.
I’m using washing-up liquid, which does the job, and wonder who buys those 30 different bottles of car cleaner they’re always advertising on shopping channels when you flick past. A true lover of car-washing, perhaps?
I thought boxes were the best toy. When my parents got a new car, I ran to my mother and said, ‘Did it come in a box?’ – Colin Angle
Ease of play: 5/10
Resemblance to play: 4/10
Enjoyability: Medium-to-High (but that’s just me)
Potential frequency of play: Medium