Gas stations have become the ultimate in convenience centres. You can fill up the car. You can buy (what passes for) food, or grab a (not too lethal) coffee. Most come with restrooms. And now, in some locations across Europe, you can wash your dog.
No, I'm not talking hogwash, I'm talking dogwash.
An enterprising fellow by the name of Steven Jackson, who reckoned that homeowners found it difficult to bathe their pooches at home, came up with a system where you can wash, rinse and blow dry your dog, all for a fiver.
Everyone except for the actual dogs of course thinks this is a great idea. Personally, I think the inventor was very clever, especially when you consider all the engineering factors that need to be taken into account.
Have a look at the instruction manual:
Labrador Retriever Shampoo. Rinse yourself. Rinse the dog. Rinse yourself. Repeat.OTHER PETS:
Chocolate Labs Wash only with other dark coloured dogs.
Chihuahua Cold water wash only. They're small enough already.
Dachshund Insert sideways into machine for best fit.
Irish Setter Warning: Use of bleach will make this dog pink.
Coton du Tulear Cotton wash only, obviously.
Poodle For best results, use fluff dry setting.
Shar Pei Avoid the permanent press cycle.
Rottweiler You're kidding right? You really want to try to stick a rottweiler in this thing?!
Water Spaniel Extra long rinse cycle.
Bassett Hound Place ears under shower cap to avoid jamming machinery.
Pit Bull See Rottweiler.
Dalmatian The spots aren't supposed to come off, silly. Stop washing the poor thing.
Borzoi For best results, wash with vodka. It won't make the dog cleaner, but you'll have a better time doing it.
Scottish Deerhound Yes, we all know that Scotty dogs wear nothing under their fur. You don't have to tell every other dog washer there that tired old joke…
St. Bernard Please use extra large, industrial capacity barrel.
Xoloitzcuintle We don't even know how to pronounce this breed, much less wash it.
Goldfish Do not wash goldfish in this machine. They regard it as an amusement park (especially the spin cycle) and refuse to leave.So, given this new trend, do not be surprised if dogs all around the world suddenly learn to hate car rides. Or that your local gas station now resembles a zoo.
Hamsters Wash in pairs. If one goes missing, check the lint trap.
Cats Warning! Do not attempt to wash cats in our standard Dogwash setup. Please make use of our special Catwash facilities. These come complete with Plexiglas shielding, high strength industrial rivet and weld construction, titanium feline restraints and express cycle speed wash. Not responsible for lost items, such as fingers, pieces of ear, ends of noses or entire limbs.
Snakes Don't try to wash a snake in any of our facilities. They will only have a hissy fit.
Tarantula Please be considerate of other patrons and wash these creatures only in off-peak hours. Station attendants need extra time to administer poison bite first-aid; besides, washing all those armpits will take longer than you think.
Skunks Be sure to use the Extra Extra Extra Fresh Scent Fabric Softener when drying your skunk. Please. We mean it.
Lop-Eared Rabbits Do not attempt to claim damages when your rabbit comes out of the wash. We know this breed had droopy ears to begin with, okay?
Indeed, you should just go with the flow. The next time you're selecting your car wash options at the machine, don't forget to hit the Paws button.
To read more of Chandra's work, visit www.ChandraKClarke.com.