Verlyn Klinkenborg writes (Saturday, April 16, 2005) in the New York Times about the rites of the Los Angeles carwash, explaining them to car-bereft New Yorkers as if we were Trobriand Islanders:
For weeks, I drove past our local carwash without turning in, certain, as only a New Yorker can be, that I would be ignorant of some secret protocol and make a fool of myself. But the secret of Southern California is that, except in a few circles, there are no secret protocols.
Of course there are secret protocols. Real Angelenos always get a hand wash. Those brushes wreck your paint job. And the answer to “Armor All on the tires?” is “no.”