How to wash your car in 15 easy steps:
1: Notice that your car is so dirty, people have stopped writing 'Clean me' in the grime and have started opting for 'Plough me' instead.
2: Realise that it's only several degrees above zero outside, so anyone expecting you to get busy with the bucket and sponge can go hang.
3: Drive to your local petrol station, the one with the jet wash machine. People, I can't stress that last point strongly enough. If you go to one without a jet wash, you're just going to end up wandering around your car making 'shooshing' noises again. Fun though that is, it's not going to shift that motorway muck.
4: Select your programme carefully. New car? Go for the gold programme. Old banger, or someone else's car? Bronze. We all know it's the equivalent of getting a llama to spit at your windscreen, but think of the £2 you saved!
5: Go to the attendant and ask for a jet wash token. Marvel as he regards you with a look that speaks of utter contempt/complete confusion/rampant constipation.
6: Insert token. Realise at this point, with no small degree of panic, that you should have untangled the spray lance and shampoo brush hoses first. In their current configuration, you can only move seven inches. You now have to negotiate a 3D puzzle, and the clock is running.
7: Step backwards into what you thought was a mere puddle only to find that it was actually six inches of dirty water. Realise you have to spend the rest of the day with one leg damp up to the lower shin. It's a look.
8: Grasp the spray lance. Resist the urge to make light sabre 'voom' noises.
9: Get the car nice and wet, following the instruction to work from the bottom up. Because, of course, water applied to your car doesn't respond to the law of gravity.
10: When the buzzer sounds, that cycle is over. Switch to the shampoo brush. See how easy it is to get your wheel clean, using a rectangular implement on a circular item!
11: Realise when the buzzer sounds again that you have one very clean wheel but the rest of the car is bereft of shampoo.
12: Drag the now water-free shampoo brush across the rest of your paintwork. Swearing optional.
13: Time to rinse. Grab that spray lance, Skywalker. Now it's in high-pressure mode. Gaze in wonder as the jet dislodges not just caked-on insects and road tar, but small items of clothing and the dental fillings of passers-by.
14: Stand back and admire your work. Realise that buying a black car was a really bad move. Michael Knight should have had your problems.
15: Drive home, allowing your left ankle to drip gently onto the carpet adjacent to your clutch pedal.