Feeling Wiped

You know what it’s like to have to do something once in a blue moon.  Move the clocks ahead/back, change the batteries in the smoke detector, that kind of thing.  When it’s something simple it’s nothing more than a quick fix.  But when it’s something that involves more than two steps, sometimes your brain decides your synapses don’t need to fire properly anymore.

Like any good Canadian I change my wiper blades once every Winter Olympics.  Alright, a little more frequently than that, but there’s still enough of a lapse in time that every time I have to do it again I go through that “I think I remember how to do this properly” cycle in my head.  And despite the relative ease of replacing the blades, there are still little annoyances along the way.

Firstly you have to go to your local National Wheel store and punch your car type into a device that’s a slight upgrade from a 1983 Texas Instruments calculator.  It’s 2014 guys, maybe we look into an upgrade in our pubic research tools.  After navigating through the menus you find the proper wiper size for your car, and it’s off to the wiper section to pick your poison.

Do you go All Weather?  Do you go Teflon?  Do you want it covered to keep the snow and ice out from in between the parts?  How about flame throwers that burn the snow before it hits your windshield?  All good choices, but it honestly comes down to one thing: how much do I have to fork over for these things?  And you do the mental debate…I don’t need to pay $25 a blade to keep my windshield clean, do I?  I mean, I could spend $7 on these things that look like pipe-cleaners and tin foil, right?  Fine, middle of the road it is.

Sometimes you don't even think about the X-axis.

$40 later (and $0.10 in National Wheel money later) we’re back at home for the installation.  Usually when I get blades I put them on in the parking lot right outside the store, but there was no “I need to do this now or I’ll die” urgency.  There was however, the “I want to be able to feel my fingers in the house afterwards” urgency, so the process had to move along as quickly as possible.

Here’s where the “not often enough” moment comes in.  I had a 95% sure feeling about what needed to happen.  Pull here, lift there, hook it around, snap it on, BAM.  Wipers.  But for some reason the companies making the blades can’t come up with a standard way to lock everything down, so I spent 5 minutes figuring out which part snapped out how far in what direction.  I only take this time because I’m the guy that’ll snap the one piece you can’t and have to buy another one.  Combine this with the fact the wiper arms don’t come all the way up off the windshield, so you’re fighting to not whiplash crack them back onto the glass, and the fact your fingers are turning into frozen fish sticks, and something that should take 2 minutes of easy life ends up draining your mana and increasing your cursing.


And yet, at the end of the process, there’s something satisfying about sitting behind the wheel and watching your fresh blades clean your entire windshield.  Something you’ll get to enjoy for about a week, until you bend/crack them while scraping another winter mess off your car.  And next time, I’ll remember exactly what to do. (Watch for the “EDIT NOTE” here in a few years.)



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