Auto Erotica

The Ladies Car Wash

With fast-food windows, drive-thru money machines, cheap auto parts and half a dozen car washes, FM 1960 West near Jones Road is a car-culture bonanza. But car detailing entrepreneur Patrick McClain doesn't have to worry about the competition. He's got a gimmick: women.

The Patsco "Ladies Car Wash" placards rise up row after row on FM 1960 like Burma Shave signs between the strip malls. But for all the ad teasing, the Ladies Car Wash isn't what you'd expect. There are no big-boobed blondes with scrubber-sponge pasties bending over windshields or suggestively squirting Armor All. There are just teenagers with buckets and hoses, teenagers who otherwise would be working at McDonald's or washing cars elsewhere, albeit in looser clothing. On this particular Saturday, only one or two lathering Lolitas are in bikini tops; the others wear T-shirts, which are wet, but only in the way that T-shirts naturally get wet when you're washing a car. There are a few visible tattoos, and everyone is pouring sweat — the Patsco parking lot is hotter than hell. With the music thumping and everyone sipping sodas, it's almost more barbecue than car wash, but definitely more car wash than men's club.

"Women are actually more reliable than men," says McClain. "They don't come with the same kind of baggage." By "baggage" he means drug dealing or work permit problems. In fact, McClain recalls how he won one irate female caller over by recounting the woes of trying to get good help and explaining that, with a 45 percent commission and up to $100 a day in tips, girls can make more money this way than by waiting tables. Even though turnover can be high (he lost nearly half his work force recently because of infighting), McClain maintains that women make better detailers than men. After all, he figures, they're naturally good at cleaning things.

Working at the car wash  on a Winnebago, no less.
Phillippe Diederich
Working at the car wash on a Winnebago, no less.
Those cars never seem to stop coming.
Those cars never seem to stop coming.
Over the shoulder and under the hood.
Over the shoulder and under the hood.
Hand wash with a feminine touch.
Hand wash with a feminine touch.
It's a scorcher...and the babes are hot, too
It's a scorcher...and the babes are hot, too

But the mere hint of sex not only sells, but brings sexual predators out of the woodwork. "Sometimes guys will call and keep asking if 'that's all it is,' just a car wash, and I have to keep telling them, 'that's all it is,'" McClain says.

Most of his customers, though, seem quite content to lounge on the shaded cement porch and gaze absentmindedly at the girls, who aren't even arching their backs or attempting to bend over in strategic eyeshot. The men exhibit impressive stamina for watching women do just about anything. And they need that stamina; one guy's giant company truck takes three hours to finish. Smiling and sweating when it's time to get paid, the young woman who did most of the work tosses the towel over her shoulder and sighs with relief. Apparently it was quite nasty. "Too bad you couldn't have taken a before and after photo," she says.

The clients admit that it's a bonus to watch hot chicks buff their bumpers, but they insist the women do a good job, too. And with the exception of strawberry air freshener that obliterated the new toy smell of my car, I'd have to agree: They did do a good jobŠ for girls. Liz Belile

 
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