I am embarrassed to say, when I was young I was sometimes badly influenced by some of my friends an on a rare occasion would be asked to leave a place. That was over 40 years ago but today the Back Road Scholar has gone rogue.
I pulled into my favourite chevron station in down town Kelowna and put in a $100 worth of gas, something I do almost every week, then pulled into their car wash. Like most four wheel drive owners mine never leaves the pavement so it only has highway grime and dust but I was pulling my utility trailer which I had just used to take leaves to the dump. It was fairly clean but had less than an ice-cream pail full of small cedar leaves and dirt.
As I was finishing washing a young man came out and told me to stop I could not get dirt on their floor. Now I lived in northern Alberta for 30 years and I know what a dump of dirt on the floor looks like as most pick up trucks leave a mountain compared to what I had left.
“You’re kidding right?” I said. The look on this face said otherwise so I added, “This is a car wash?”
“You can’t do that!” He said, “We are hooked up to the city sewer and we can’t have dirt going down the drain.”
I have designed and built at least a thousand shops with gutters and sumps that are hooked to the city sewer system and I know that if done right they are designed for washing down Crawler tractors and oil field equipment that is really dirty. This car wash was only a year old so I knew the problem wasn’t I was dirtying the floor the problem was he might have to clean up behind me. I felt bad for the young guy having to actually work for his pay so I began hosing down the floor on my nickel.
“You have to leave,” He said holding his broom between us, “I said you can’t do that!”
I quit helping him and began to rinse off the soap on the outside of the vehicle but he hollered at me again. “I said you have to quit!”
I should have been embarrassed but 40-years of not being a rebel had built up inside me so I went rogue and continued rinsing for what must have been 30 seconds while he steamed then finished I put the hose away, queued up Born To Be Wild on the iPad and drove off promising myself I will find a new station to give my $100 a week to.