Windshield Wiper Protectors · 9 July 2016

Original by Ildar Sagdejev
licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0,
via Wikimedia Commons

Apparently, some windshield wipers have plastic protection on the blades. Not to protect them between use (that would be awkward and dangerous), but to keep them safe while they are sitting in the plastic containers on the shelf in the stores. Of course, I found this out after traveling a thousand miles with them on. (I did not take them off between storms.)

I have changed windshield wiper blades many times. On many cars. I have put cheap ones and expensive ones on. I have even changed ones where I had to replace the entire arm. Or at least some of it. But I had never put on wiper blades that had protectors on them. No big deal. Right? Just take the protector off and away we go. Sounds simple enough. And it was. But there is more to the story. Much more.

We were getting ready for a trip from Spokane to Colorado. Lots of miles. (Google it and you will find it just over one-thousand road miles.) I was going to be the chauffeur for my mom, my sister, and my sister’s two kids. Being the prepared one, my sister, Marcie, had gotten new windshield wiper blades. Her old ones needed replacing and she thought it would be a good idea to do it before the trip. Her husband was not going with us (if he had, I would be writing this story about him instead), so I, being the good big brother that I am, changed the wipers.

It only took a few minutes and they were ready. The new wipers looked nice with their shiny, yellow wiper blades. I had never seen such a thing before, but I just figured it was a marketing or branding scheme. Cool yellow wiper blades.

Unfortunately, when Marcie tested the new wipers, they did not work so well. They streaked the windshield instead of wiping it. So she thought she ought to follow the directions and clean the windshield like they said. That did not do the trick. They still streaked. But we set off anyway. On our three day trip. (Not sure if anybody else heard the ominous part of the Gilligan’s Island theme song, but if you sing “three day trip” twice, you might.)

Well, to make a short story a little longer we had a nice trip with few bugs and fewer raindrops. (Bugs necessitate wipers if they do not just bounce off the windshield.) The few raindrops that we did have made us think that the wipers were defective or needed special wiper fluid to work. Or at least we, rather I, hypothesized as much. On the last hour of the last day of the trip, the big storm came. Water cascaded from the sky. We heard the Gilligan’s Island theme again and again as the rain came down and the thunder rolled. I turned the wiper setting to as high as it would go. The water streaked on the windows and we bad mouthed the company. We said we would need to get new wipers before the return trip. And then, we bad mouthed the company some more. (Sorry about that.)

Thankfully, we got safely to our destination. Uncle Don and Auntie Judi’s house.

While we were there, we made a few trips with our Uncle Don and Aunt Judi in the vehicle. Needless to say, it rained on those trips. Uncle Don agreed with my sister and I that we needed to get some wiper blades before the final return trip. Auntie Judi was amazed that they did not work very well because she had the same brand of blades on her vehicle. We did not stop at the auto parts store though. Even though we heard Gilligan’s Island again and again.

When we stopped at the end of one of our trips in the rain, Uncle Don looked at the wiper blades. Apparently, he had never seen bright yellow blades either. Lo and behold, he found that those beautiful yellow blades were not yellow blades after all. Those yellow blades were actually yellow blade covers. After he took them off, those black uncovered wiper blades worked like a champ. They wiped the windshield clean and turned off the Gilligan’s Island music too. Uncle Don had saved the day.

Needless to say, we all had a great laugh at my expense. As they say, I had pulled a Michael. (They say it; I do not.)

You might doubt it, but my foibles and follies are real. After all, you cannot just make up this stuff. (Okay. I made up the stuff about hearing the Gilligan’s Island theme song.) And even though it ended up being a fun story, I wish I had found out in a different way that windshield wiper blades have protective covers.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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