M. Giant's
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007  

Wiped

I have a confession to make. There was an occasion or two this past winter where I used the windshield wipers instead of a snow brush. I know I'm not supposed to, but some part of me figures, why do something outside the car and get snow all over myself when I could do from inside the car instead, where it's relatively warm and dry?

As spring broke, I belatedly discovered why you're not supposed to do that. It's because straining against the weight of a foot and a half of snow can kind of throw off the alignment of your wipers. Or at least that's what I assumed, when the first spring rainstorm came and I drove along with the passenger-side wiper slapping hard against the bottom of the windshield and the driver-side wiper swinging out past the left edge of the car, where it was in danger of catching on an oncoming vehicle.

I figured I could just hand-adjust them whenever I got to where I was going, because it's not like I was about to stop driving just because my wipers were acting goofy. It's worked plenty of times before. This time, however, it didn't work. The new, distorted arcs seemed to be permanent.

It was really only bad when the wipers were on their highest setting, and I'd have to choose between driving into an opaque tsunami or putting up with that relentless hammering. Otherwise it's just an annoying thump.

And then tonight, I happened to be in the car with Linda on the way home through a mild rain. Suddenly the wipers started getting all tangled up with each other. This was not ideal, because now I was trying to see the road through both a scattering of raindrops and a pair of immobile wiper blades. Then I tried to turn them off, and they disengaged from each other and started flailing around more wildly than ever. I rolled down the window and reached out to grab at something -- anything -- and eventually got a hold of a rubber wiper blade. While it was still wiggling in my hand, I pulled it inside the car and threw it in the back seat, without ever slowing down. My wipers eventually stopped at a 45-degree angle across my field of vision, the one on the passenger side now just a metal bracket resting against the glass.

I felt bad because I was worried that Linda might think I wasn't interested in what she was saying as a result of this minor distraction, but she assured me that she didn't take it personally.

I'm not thrilled about the timing, because next week is when I start my new job, driving by myself to work in my car instead of carpooling in Trash's like we have been for the last year. I guess I have a couple of options. The most obvious one is to get the wipers fixed, but I hate doing things that are obvious. The other is to only drive when it's not raining. That's what people who own motorcycles and convertibles with broken roofs do, right?

posted by M. Giant 9:11 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

No, people on motorcycles wear extra covering gear and sometimes take a change of clothing with them. You could do that, if you wanted to stick your head out the window to see instead.

I see no flaws in that plan.

By Blogger Rae, at May 29, 2007 at 9:50 PM  

If you put Rain-X on your windshield every couple months you don't even really need wipers. It's great stuff. You only need wipers if it's "misting."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2007 at 6:46 AM  

I've found that Rain-X doesn't work in the Midwest, especially during the summer months. The bugs stick to it.

By Blogger Emily, at May 30, 2007 at 9:28 AM  

M. Giant was nice enough to leave out the part where I laughed hysterically the whole time, which was pretty rude of me.

But it was damn funny.

By Blogger Linda, at May 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM  

So that's why my wipers got tangled up like spaghetti during that downpour last year? I always knew my laziness would bite me in the butt someday.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM  

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