As I pulled into the parking stall at my chiropractor’s office I noticed a lady staring at me from her van in the parking spot kitty-corner from mine. As I walked past her she rolled down her window and said, “Don’t those wiper blades bother you when you’re driving?”
I turned around and looked at my car with its window wiper blades splayed wide open on the windshield. I had gotten so used to them in my line of vision I no longer even noticed them. Which is weird because I always notice the shredded piece of duct tape flapping in the breeze that I wound around the driver’s side wiper blade in order to keep the washer fluid hose from flopping around.
By now you’ve probably gathered that I drive the crappy car in the family. My husband drives the car that e-mails him when his oil needs changing: Dear Mr.Wergin, an oil change is recommended at this time. Signed, Your Brand New Yukon
“Yes,” I said to the inquisitive woman.
“Well, they fold down inside the hood when you shut them off, you know, “she informed me as I tried to squeeze past her.
“Well, mine don’t,” I said, curtly.
“Well, if you shut them off, they will”she insisted.
“Well, mine are off,” I argued with the stranger, “and they still don’t go down. Haven’t for over a year now.”
“Oh,” she said.
There was a time when I cared enough about the perpetually upright wipers that I actually Googled the words: “wipers stuck in the open position.” I was disheartened to learn that out of 97,200 results not one addressed my sticky dilemma. No one else in the world was driving around with wide open wipers, except me. I simply had to accept it.
After getting my back bent and neck cracked, I got back in my car and decided, out of humiliation, to make one last effort to un-stick my stubborn wipers. I pulled into a service station on the way home, went inside and asked a mechanic who was sitting on a counter top talking to another mechanic who was sitting at a desk if he would mind taking a look at my wedged wipers.
The guy on the desk followed me out to my van.
“That’s a good one,” the mechanic observed eyeballing the wipers.
He opened the hood, jiggled some wires, turned the wipers on and off, jiggled some more wires, and when he was done, both wipers still stood transfixed upright on the windshield.
“They’re not recycling,” he said. “Drive around a little while, maybe they’ll eventually go down.”
Right. And maybe my husband will trade me my paid-for, dog-nose-smudged Pontiac minivan for his leather interior SUV with the Bose Wave Radio System, heated seats and the wipers that disappear obediently out of sight each and every time he turns them off.
Hmm, maybe I could have his car e-mail him and recommend it.