Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Windshield wipers in 3/4 time

I'm not a morning lark. There have been times I've had two alarms set; one to beat with my fist until the ringing stopped, and one across the room I cannot reach. The label "night owl" has often been attached to my name, but I consider that a compliment. I mean, how often have you heard of an owl being sucked up in a jet engine?

On the down side, it doesn't take much to put me off my game, at least until I've absorbed a cup of coffee. When I pulled out of the garage the rain attacked in little pellets, pinging into the windscreen. Flipping on my wipers, I began my trip to work, but soon became flustered. The thwack, thwack, thwack of the wipers did not keep time with Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. It was very disconcerting, like the wipers were trying to force Mozart into taking speed.

I lowered the setting on the wipers, but that made it worse for two reasons. 1) I couldn't see out of the window, and more importantly, 2) now they'd swipe intermittently, sometimes on beat and sometimes off until my shoulders hunched in terrified anticipation. Desperate, I punched buttons, trying to find a tune with the same beat, but to no avail. By the time I decided Mozart simply hadn't written anything in windshield wiper time, I was half way to work and my knuckles showed white on the wheel.

I'd have to change to the radio, but what station? NPR. Certainly the tempo of the wipers would have no effect on the news. I jabbed a button and the first words I heard were, "it is snowing." Sure enough, some of the drops hitting the screen splattered like wet flakes. Another couple of blocks and I turned onto the side street near work and the rain eased. I turned off the radio and heard the unmistakable sound of "snow silence" as the rain turned into cheerful white crystals.
My shoulders relaxed, I hauled in a happy breath and all was nearly right with the world. If I'd been in front of a fireplace at a ski lodge, with a cup of coffee in my hand, it would have been perfect.


  1. It is my opinion that winshield wipers NEVER swipe in time to any beat. No matter the song or the music. It's always just a little bit off.

  2. Anne,

    So there's no hope? Wouldn't you think they'd have the wiper settings as: Allegro, Adagio, Menuetto or Soft Rock?

  3. Shame on the windscreen wiper manufactures not to have thought about timing the swipes with the beat of the music. Most remiss.

    Hmm... we may have an idea here :)

  4. Wendy,

    This is fabulous. There could be a "Heavy Metal" setting, a "Classical" setting, a "Jazz" setting and a "Rap" setting., scratch the Rap setting. I think that is what it is right now.


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