Betsey Karako

Windshield Wiper Fun

April 20, 2012 21:07

Windshield wipers can make music. What an unusual statement, you say. How can anything as prosaic and ordinary as windshield wipers make something as beautiful and inexpressible as music, you question. Using the mighty power of my pen and my thesaurus, I will show you. Close your eyes and listen. Actually, don't do that, since you have to read this.
Ahem. Everyone knows that windshield wipers have different speeds. One end of the dial gives you a slow swish, and the other end throws out a whirling madness.
The slow setting is useful for light sprinkles, or short spits. The moisture does not build up quickly enough to obscure the driver's view before the wipers swipe. One drives leisurely down the road, enjoying a gentle rhythm sounding from the swoop of the windshield wipers. Swish, swoosh. Swish, swoosh. Quite soothing, actually.
With precipitation of more substance, the wipers are turned up a few notches to a regular clack clack or tick tock. The rain pats the windshield, and the wipers brush it to the side. Our gentle rhythm turns into a light chamber piece--sparkling and pretty, but slightly dull.
As the rain spills down more heavily, our wipers start to pick up the pace. We hear a joyous romp, as rain splats onto the glass and the wipers hurry to flick it off into the air.
When we get into stronger weather, the romp moves into a faster tempo. The wipers are really booking it now, running back from one side of the windshield to the other like percussionists in the middle of Beethoven. A symphony is sounding in our ears, the glorious sound of rain and wipers in harmonized motion.
Severe rain sends the wipers into panic mode; indeed, they hardly seem in control of themselves any more. Water pours down in a deluge, drenching the glass by bucketfuls. We hear the complicated discord of modern music--and are tempted to cover our ears at the sensation of such unfamiliar sounds. It is a frantic battle between rain and wipers. Where do the wipers stop and the rain begins? Where does the rain stop and the wipers begin? Where is the road, for pete's sake?
At this point it is most likely best that you should seek shelter. Go find some Bach.

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Previous entries: February 2012

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