Cars lined up last Saturday for the Mount St. Helen’s High School Car Wash, an event to raise money for the jazz band’s upcoming trip to New Orleans, but customers began complaining when it failed to live up to expectations.
“First off, there were no cheerleaders. Not a one,” said Gary Buchman, 45, who was driving a 1987 Toyota Tercel hatchback bearing a Dukakis/Bentsen bumper sticker. “Everyone was wearing oversize tee-shirts and rain slickers, and no one got wet, probably because they were using janitorial buckets instead of hoses. Which is just no way to do this kind of thing.”
Mark Gerard, 32, who had borrowed his mother’s Dodge Caravan for the occasion, bemoaned the fact that his wash was over too quickly. “I’m sorry,” he said angrily, “But aren’t these traditionally supposed to happen in slow-motion?”
Students say that over a dozen other would-be patrons backed out of the school’s driveway when they realized that some of the washers were male, and that one driver asked a 10th grader to “sit on his hood.”
When called for comment, Mount St. Helen’s principal Sandra Holliday said that Hollywood movies like Bring It On and One Night at McCool’s that sexualize the act of vehicular hand-washing may be to blame for the patrons’ behavior.
“Look, this is a magnet school,” she said wearily. “We’re just trying to send a bunch of band kids to Dixieland, not promote masturbatory fantasies involving underage girls and industrial-strength detergent.”
Mr. Buchman, for his part, denied that he was there for a voyeuristic thrill, saying only that he expected the atmosphere to me more “stimulating.”
“And to add insult to injury, there’s still bird shit on my windshield,” he said.