The Speed of the Windshield Wipers

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , ,

by Tim Braun


I was driving into work this morning in the pouring rain and was thinking how I absolutely love cold days and rain.  It’s the best experience in the world.  I’ve always kinda hypothesized that I only liked it because it puts everyone else into a horrible mood, and I can then come over the top of everyone’s bad mood with my shiny, beaming face.  It makes sense in my odd little head.

But as I was looking through my wonderfully dreary windshield, I decided it’s time to get serious about things.  For nigh on three months now I’ve been giving you a piece of mind about my feelings on things.  I’ve given and given and asked for nothing in return.  That’s just the way I am.  That’s the kind of giving human being I am.  So now, I need your input.  Specifically – and I fully realize that some of you have heard me ask this before – I have a question that’s in dire need of an answer:

Why are my wipers on a different speed than everyone else’s wipers?

I don’t mean that metaphorically, or in some existentialism sense – I mean my damn car wipers.  If it’s just drizzling outside my wipers are always on a faster intermittent speed than everyone else’s.   If it’s a steady rain, everyone is still on intermittent and I’ve hitched my wagon to a full-blown low-speed constant setting.  Why is that?  Now I will say that I will NEVER go to a full-blown high speed constant setting when everyone else does.  I don’t want water flying all around all willy-nilly and whatnot.  Just give me a clean windshield and a wheel to steer her by.  That’s what I say.  All the time.

My eyes are good – testing better than average even at my advanced age.  Flew a plane for many years.  So I KNOW when I can see and when I can’t.  So I have to assume (like I often do) that the rest of the human population are idiots and can’t actually see through the rain/mist/drizzle at their lower settings.  So that’s what I’m going with.  Maybe just because my favorite kind of day is a rainy cold dreary day, I want to keep the water off the windshield so I can see the rain better.  You won’t ever catch ME saying “I can’t see the rain for all the water….”

But maybe I AM talking about some bigger issue here.  In the sentence “My wipers are always on a different speed that everyone else’s” substitute “wipers are” with “personality is” and you suddenly are pulling out the psychology textbooks to analyze the crap out of me.  The next time you’re driving in the rain, watch everyone else and report back to me if you’re wiper-efficient or wiper-deficient as related to the overall auto windshield population of the highway that you’re on.  I think it will tell a lot about your personality and possibly could be used as a replacement in your life for tea-leaves and those Cosmo Personality Tests that I know you’re fond of taking.  Your own self-controlled fortune teller.  That’s what windshield wipers are.

May YOUR wipers never stop wiping, and may the rain never stop falling.


  1. dcbraun says:

    I think the serious answer is that veryone has a different level of comfort with how much rain they want to see through – via genetics, I guess, I am the same way.

    The non-serious answers are too numerous to try to mention now, so I’ll let others provide them…


  2. Linda says:

    Others are using Rainex and don’t need the high speed wipers? FYI, in the old days, like the mid-60s, windshield wipers used to slow down when the car was going uphill and needed more oomph (that’s a very mechanical term). I think if one downshifted, they, the wipers, would again go faster. And I know that after cresting the hill and going down the other side, the wipers would be flying back and forth. It was really quite interesting and challenging.


    • Sounds like a fantastic idea – they should come up with a way to not only have the wipers adjust to the amount of rain hitting it, but also to automatically turn on the lights if the wipers are on.


      • dcbraun says:

        And I agree that the light shoudl come on automatically when the wipers are on. Assuming they overcome the problem of intermittent wiper speeds!


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