Sunday, December 30, 2007

Screeech, or what would MacGyver do?

So, about a week and a half ago in Milwaukee, I was warming up my car when I started my windshield wipers to wipe off some snow and ice. The driver-side wiper was apparently frozen in place with ice and eventually broke free but with a loud crack and as the wiper started moving across the windshield, it made a scratching sound, so I stopped the wipers and manually scraped off the remaining ice and snow.

I was running late for work, so I hopped back into the car with the thought, in the back of my mind, that I should replace the wiper soon. Time passed, without much snow, rain or ice, and the wiper never got replaced. This past Friday, it started to snow heavily in Milwaukee, with about 3 or 4 inches of accumulation and there was a lot of snow slush being thrown up from the road as well as falling from the sky.

I switched on the wipers, and upon hearing the back-curling screeching of the wiper on the windshield, added yet another reason, to my already long list, of why procrastination was evil and made my way to the post office by only occasionally switching on the wipers.

When I left the post office, I realized that I had a long drive to Chicago ahead of me and I couldn't possibly drive safely without a functioning set of wipers. It was too late to get it replaced at an auto shop and I didn't much feel like replacing it myself since it was night and cold.

So I looked around my car and thought to myself, "What would MacGyver do?" Surely, I could jerry rig a solution out of the random odds and ends in my car. I surveyed the interior of my car and saw that I had a small roll of floss. I instantly realized that I could use the floss to tie down the ends of the wiper so the rubber edge of the wiper would make contact with the windshield and the exposed metal part of the blade would be kept safely out of the way.

I tied the ends of the wiper blade down using surgical knots I learned during medical school - after all, if they are good enough to hold organs and blood vessels together, they should be able to hold a wiper down - and jumped back in the car to see if my little experiment would work.

Snick-slop, snick-slop the smooth sound of success - the wipers worked perfectly all the way home and the knots never came loose. Floss, not just for your teeth anymore...

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