Your Daily Dose of Doofus

You would think, after more than 40 years of experience on this earth, that I would generally be with it when it comes to basic mechanical devices. I know my way around computers pretty well. I can tinker around with most things and get them to work. I’d like to think I’m capable of doing basic things like, say, replacing windshield wipers on my car. Right?

Due to an overzealous ice scraping incident, my old wipers were giving me trouble. The rubber had separated from the end of one of them, and it looked like a rat tail moving back and forth across my windshield. No problem! I ordered some replacements, and they came yesterday. When I took them out, I was surprised to see they were yellow, for some reason. “Maybe it’s supposed to look more high tech,” I thought to myself.

I followed the instructions and successfully had them on my Prius in about 2 minutes. I tried them out as soon as I drove off. Instead of really wiping, they generally just smeared the wiper fluid across my windshield. “Must be because it’s too cold out, and the . . . wiper fluid froze.” Sure. It made sense. Or maybe wipers need to soak in a bit of liquid before they really get going.

Well, this morning it was raining (boo!), so I had a new chance to try out the wipers. They . . . really did a poor job. I had a hard time seeing through the glass, it was so smeary. Needless to say, I was really dejected. I’d thrown out my old wipers, so now I had nothing and would have to make a trip to the store. Strangely, a yellow leaf had gotten stuck underneath one of them. Maybe that was what was . . .

That’s when I realized that it’s February in Maine, and any leaf that somehow managed to be anywhere right now, definitely wouldn’t be yellow. And actually, weren’t those wiper blades yellow? Could they be falling off somehow? Maybe they were defective.

I pulled over to the side of the road, got out, and inspected them.

After I removed the yellow protective covers from them, the wipers worked like a charm.

So here’s your helpful PSA for the day: wipers don’t work nearly as well if you try to use them with plastic over the actual blades.

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