I pulled the car up to the beginning of the car wash. “Could I have the Ruby Red?” I said, handing the young man with the reddish hair ten dollars plus a tip. The guy on the other side of the car started wiping down the roof with soapy water and a brush. “Hey, did you guys find a license plate here?”

“Sure,” he said. “Which one you looking for? We got lots of ’em in there,” nodding his head towards the car wash office.

“The same as the one on the back of this car,” I said.

He started sloshing soapy water on the hood of the car. “Come back around when you get through,” he said. “I’ll take a look for you.”

I rolled up the windows, put it in neutral, and the car lurched into the rotating brushes and through the spray and then out through the big blowers that dry off the car. When I walked back around, both men were standing under a tree. There was my license plate sitting on the picnic table under the tree. My relief must have showed on my face, and both guys grinned at me.

The second guy, the guy wearing a Harley t-shirt and with his hair in a long queue down his back, said, “It was under about four others. Actually, it was the fourth one down when we found it. We got a lot of license plates. Tell all your friends to come down and check.”