It was a cold and slushy February afternoon. The car wash was empty. After all, what idiot gets their car washed when the road is muddy with melted snow?
In fact, the whole reason I went to the car wash on a day like this was because I knew it would be quiet. I wanted it to be quiet so I had a few quick seconds to give the hard working guys there a box of Crispy Creme Doughnuts and grab a photo of them for my ManKIND project.
I don't know what was harder for me - plucking up the courage to approach these scary looking fellas and ask for a photograph, or hand over a box of Crispy Cremes without eating one.
You can tell from the look on their faces that they were baffled and suspicious.
You could see their cogs turning. "Why the hell is this weird little chap giving us a box of doughnuts for no reason and asking for our photograph? Is he a government agent who thinks we're illegal immigrants and wants photographic evidence?
After they'd washed my car they quizzed me about what I'd done. Since I'm starting to get used to this kind of reaction I had the ManKIND project page of my website ready to show them on my smartphone. Once they could see I'm always this odd they felt a lot better and started chatting about what men always talk about with strangers... ...football! The many splendours of Steaua Bucharest in particular.
They thanked me for "The sweets" and gave me a free air freshener. I prefer the smell of doughnuts, but I enjoyed the smell of victory - the victory of overcoming my stupid fear (that most of us have, except my mum!) of talking to strangers and doing things that aren't 'normal' in public.