Two Minute Car Wash, Piedmont Rd., Atlanta
Chewing through a cheeseburger at Grindhouse, I beheld for the umpteenth time the mechanical gorilla that greets motorists next door at the Two-Minute Car Wash, and I had an epiphany of sorts.
That guy and I have a lot in common. Here are five things.
The blank expression.
The gorilla consistently wears the same freakish, semi-astonished,
semi-crazed look on a daily basis. TV reporters frequently wear the
same look, betraying very little real emotion. We are allowed some
emotional license. We can project outrage or empathy occasionally.
Sometimes we fake some satisfaction or humor. But mostly, we look like
The mechanical movements. Our
similarities become especially evident when TV reporters are asked to
perform during live shots or standups. For further elaboration, see the attached video.
The wear and tear. The more
seniority I achieve, the whiter my hair gets. The longer the gorilla
stands out in the sun alongside Piedmont Road, the greener his hair
gets. The manager at the Two-Minute Car Wash says he spray paints the
gorilla's hair black periodically. TV reporters have similar weapons in
The public persona. The Two
Minute Car Wash gorilla is a consistent performer on the public stage,
in a high-traffic area of Midtown Atlanta. The TV reporter is also a
public-stage guy with a measure of consistency. The difference: The
gorilla is a beloved Atlanta institution. Most of us aren't.
The disposability. The
Two Minute Car Wash has had a mechanical gorilla on the curb for over
25 years. The gorillas wear out. Younger gorillas are acquired and
seamlessly used to replace the old ones. Most customers never notice.
One day, WXIA will replace me. The viewers will never notice.