Monday, July 7, 2014

Where Did the Wipers Go?

Not the picture that should go with this post.
We own three vehicles, two vans and a Dodge Caliber. We mainly use two of these, because one of the vans has become the “old” vehicle, without all of the cool gadgets of the others, and so it gets chosen last to play on the team. Actually, it is only chosen when it’s a necessity and I need to go somewhere and the girls have the other two vehicles. There isn’t anything really wrong with it. It’s just not as fun as the others. To be honest, I prefer driving it to the Caliber, because I hate my ass so close to the pavement underneath me. I prefer being high up where I can look down on those poor drivers who piss me off.

However, with the new move in motion, the old van was called into action as a pack mule and I was the designated driver. They used the term designated driver, that is. I would have chosen forced, but tomayto, tomahto.

After going to the new house and dropping off three loads of stuff we hadn’t seen in a year, we headed home to the old house for another batch of household items. On the way over the bridge, it began to rain and windshield wipers were now required in order not to drive off the bridge. I reached to my right and twirled the little knob at the end of the turning signal lever.

Nothing happened.

I turned with more urgency in the flip of the wrist. Still nothing. I kept doing it. I even yelled. “Where the hell are the wipers? Why aren’t they working?” No one was in the car with me, so no one answered. Not even the van. This was payback for leaving it sitting on the side of the road and not calling it to be on the first string. Not even cars like to be sidelined.

All I could see was the rain beating a blinding, mocking pattern on the windshield. I was going to drive off the bridge and end up in the brink, I knew it. I started mentally saying my goodbyes.

And then I realized what vehicle I was in and that the wipers were actually on the other stem protruding from the steering column. I took a deep breath and twirled that little knob while still praying no one had slammed on brakes in front of me.

They worked! Swish swish–it was a beautiful sound. I let out the breath I was holding and thanked the Universe for that brief memory recall…

…And then I cussed out the car manufacturers.

Why the hell do they have to keep putting things in different places? The headlight switch should be the same in every car as well as the windshield wipers. People own more than one car. They can’t always be expected to keep track of where everything is, can they? Are they going to suddenly switch the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal? Will I forget one day which car I am in and go to slam on brakes only to wind up driving through a 7-11? We now own a Dodge Grand Caravan and the gear shift is on the dashboard next to the radio dial!  Why are they moving things around???

I know it sounds a little overdramatic, but I could have died due to my lack of memory and Mazda’s need to be different than the other manufacturers. It was small, minor even, but it could have had major results. I was going over a bridge and couldn’t see. That tends to lead to consequences best not thought about.

Yet, there are many things in life that are the same. They may seem small at the time, but in the end, they could have disastrous consequences. It’s best not to take things or people for granted, thinking they will always be there, that you can just reach out and they will perform how you want them to. One day someone is going to move something on you and you won’t realize it until it’s too late and you’re about to drive off the side of the bridge. Then you would have wished your memory was a little better.

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