Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wiper blades.  Innocent things, really....

They're just long black things, sticking out there, waiting patiently to be called into service.  Couple weeks ago we were driving to somewhere or from somewhere, Val used the wipers, except they didn't work so well.  Damn things are not too old, probably not even a year old yet.  Wonder why they go bad so fast.

Is it the contour of the windshield?  Is the size of the wiper?  I'm thinking this is party the case.  This car has a 22" wiper on the driver side, a 20" on the passenger side.  The driver side wiper was the one that was doing the chicken dance on it's path down the glass (why do they always work great going up, but smear the glass going down?) while the passenger side worked fine.

Ventured into Fleet Farm today...aka the "man's mall" aka "if the store doesn't have it, you don't need it" etc.  I think I've mentioned this place before, and it does have nearly everything a guy needs.  But I have 2 major gripes with the place...one I've probably mentioned, is that they play throwball games on the radio, at super high volume.  I mean it's loud.  Annoys the crap right out of me.  So when I go to take care of that, they have a clear violation of man law.  They have 4 urinals....no dividers. WTH is wrong with them??? 

Anyway, went there to look at a couple things, they had a special price on "bubbakegs", a 52 oz cup, which I didn't buy because the lid screws on, which is good, except the lid and cup are very slippery, which would cause a disaster on clumsy day.  I forgot what else I was going to look at, but I remembered that the car needs new wipers.  BTW, back to the size issue.  My pickup has 18" wipers, and they last a couple years.  Sure, I only drive it 3000 miles a year, but it sits outside every day of that year, while the car spends most of the winter in the garage.  Hmmmmmmmmore to think about.

Anyway.  ANCO makes pretty good wipers, and until a couple years ago, a guy could just buy replacement blades--cheap.  Now, you have to buy the whole thing, blade and carrier thing that snaps onto the arm.  $4.59 for standard, $5.85 for "winter" $9.xx for "aerovantage" $15.xx for "superdupermagicalculturedcomeswithdinnerandashow.  ANCO was offering a $5 rebate when you buy a pair of blades.  But not for the cheapies, (haha, like any of them are cheap!).  So we're trying the "winter" blades.

Seen these things???  They look like John Holmes or Ron Jeremy gave some of their black coloured condoms to ANCO....the wiper device is wrapped in rubber to keep water from collecting and freezing in the space between the blade and the arm, which causes the wiper blade to do the macarena right when you need it most.  Which is, of course, during the middle of an ice storm when you're driving over the river and through the woods when the guy ahead of you hits that dead skunk that everyone else has avoided for the last 3 days...causing all the pent up intestinal gases to explode out through the balloon neck hole, which makes it fly all around much like you've seen on the cartoons.  It really happens, folks....and that putrid sucker will land on your windshield, and you need to scrape it off.  But you can't, because your wiper has collected all the rain drops it's seen for the last 45 miles which has taken 6 hours to travel due to all the shoppers heading to the mall or to Applebees or to Pure Pleasure or Kwik Trip to get their porn or bread and milk before they're trapped for 3 days.  Hey...the internet might go down.  So your wiper arm is encased in ice, the rubber is an inch off the glass not doing a damn thing when that skunk lands on your windshield.  It starts to cook because you've got the defroster blasting full power, it's a good thing there's no heat seeking missiles around because they'd zero in on your defroster vents.  That, my friends, would be messy.  So the skunk guts are cooking onto your windshield, the wiper arm is coming his fur, you're wishing the kids would stop screaming because it is a bit distracting and your spouse is shouting for you to for God's sake do something, that skunk stench is gonna make me hurl!

What I really can't figure out...is why there are red tips on the ends of the winter blades.  Pretty lousy pic, isn't it.  I'm not sure they could have put a smaller picture of it on their website.  So, 2 wiper blades at $5.85, a 41 cent stamp, a 3 cent stamp, an envelope and a $5 rebate almost gets the price down to reasonable.  But: can you put a price on clear vision?  We could imagine the cops providing a ticket for unauthorized skunk cooking causing a crash, the cost of repairing your car and the others you crashed into when the chain reaction of puking began, first the spouse followed by the kids and then the dog after he ate most of the piles of vomit.  Plus the cost of increased insurance coverage....changing the wipers is starting to sound pretty cheap, isn't it!  What about the cost of the wiper juice?  That, my friends, is another bloggy entry....but none of them really do a good job dissolving skunk.
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