Dog Tested: Car Wash

A Poem About A Subaru Commercial

The day itself was crystal clear, the sun above was shining;
A mud-encrusted Subaru was in a lot aligning.
Around the place some tubs and buckets sat without their owners;
The bubbly place deserted, this car’s passengers were loners.
The banner for this business touted “Car Wash” clear as day,
With “Vars’ty Barkers” listed as the washers who’d purvey.
Inside the car a family just beheld this curious place;
They all were dogs! And yet they groaned with doubt and scrunched their face
As if the seeming emptiness around them was what’s strange
Instead of five dogs driving ‘round in Subarus unchained.

The father dog, I guess, then honked the horn to ‘nnounce they’d come;
And if his wish was company, he’d ably conjured some:
Four bulldogs charged from deep within the building where they’d rested,
Determined not to let the Subaru’s filth go untested.
One bulldog here picked up a sponge within his pow’rful teeth,
And worried back and forth the thing to ascertain its death
So later, up on hind legs, one of them could reach and swipe
With flattened paw to murdered sponge; across the chassis wipe
(The leg, unnaturally stiff, like taxidermied pipe.)

Behold: another of these bulldogs found himself the hose
And turned it on — though how he ‘ccomplished that, God only knows —
And aimed it at a bucket all replete with sopping cloth;
The stream of water missing: feet and inches it was off.
This small calamity became a boon for that one’s peers
Who leapt and snapped ferociously, aloft with pinned-back ears,
To break the back, if break they could, of th’ hose’s cold discharge,
Though snapping it was fruitless, bearing only liquid shards
That played across the air as prisms, dancing in their fall,
Refusing death its bounty, being water, after all.

Oh look, one bulldog got into a bucket over here.
A big red one that’s full of bubbles reaching to his ears.

From safety in the Subaru a puppy watched the show;
This pup’d been strapped into an infant’s car seat long ago
And had to crane his neck to see the window o’er his sibling
Who freely stalked the luxury interior, a’dribbling.
A long day’s work behind him, outside, one bulldog shook off
The sheen of effort glazing him. It splashed as it was sloughed.
The father — here again I’m guessing its identity —
Barked once from b’hind the steering wheel to say, “Hey, thanks, buddy!”
The head bulldog barked back “You’re welcome” sternly, snuffling, solemn;
Alas, the bulldogs, lacking height, had only cleaned the bottom!

The family regarded then each other ere they’d leave;
Did they agree the job was fine, or did they mutely grieve,
Unwilling to correct the folly perpetrated by
The bulldogs who, though meaning well, had botched th’ initial try?
Who gets to judge when charity’s the outcome anyway?
We pay our debt to guilt, accept half value, drive away,
Content that what we’ve done was somehow stacked against a cause,
Our contribution one among the work of many paws.
So what if the return is low, the Subaru still gross?
It’s tax on top of tithing, hit reverse, say “Adios!”
And count the blessings given to you: family, money, too,
And, best of all, a big half-shiny brand new Subaru.

Here’s the original commercial:

Dogs in a car! Dogs cleaning a car! Makes you wish you had a car to drive and wash like a dog!

Some group of ostriches or giraffes or something should set up a car wash next door and clean the part of the car the little dogs missed.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Smash that like button. You can reply to this email and it’ll go right to my inbox, if you feel like chatting.

This is Phil.

Photo by Vlad Kovriga from Pexels