Friday, February 11, 2005

Windshield washer fluid rage

Living in Minnesota, especially during the winter months, leads one to encounter the dreaded 'road sludge'. Road Sludge is the not-so-glorious mixture of road salt, sand, dirt, melting frost, small amounts of snow and various automotive fluids left upon the highways and byways of our not-so-pristine state. Minnesota, during its winter months, is a desolate land which is filthy at best. Complete with sand and dirt-laiden piles of melting snow in every parking lot, it can get a bit depressing.

Depressing, however, wouldn't describe my experience this morning.

As I neared my destination for work, the highway turns into a limited-access freeway. Speeds increase as does the number of vehicles, exponentially. As my speed nears 75 miles per hour, I close in on a vehicle doing nearly the same speed. That is the precise moment, and after 25 miles of fairly uncomplicated driving it hadn't yet happened, that this inconsiderate and numb to his surroundings driver proceeded to turn on his wipers. He didn't stop at a couple of quick squirts, he held that button or wand for a good 45 seconds. Not a problem, you say? Well, think again. At that speed, the majority of washer fluid tends to leave the intended windshield, spraying off and over the owner's roof onto car(s) behind the numb driver.

At 75 miles per hour, I continued to drive on the congested four lane freeway as I was attacked with specks of washer fluid on my already dirty windshield as I drove into the rising sun. I looked, desperately, for an opening to pass this spraying jackass. I quickly cut aroud him and accellerated to 80 miles per hour. With my exit closing in at less than 1/2 mile away, I looked for an opening to get ahead of washer spraying Wally and save myself.

I made a quick cut in front of this oblivious asshole and made my way to the waiting red light at the top of the exit ramp. As I stopped i proceeded to give my filth-speckled windshield one, and only one, squirt of washer fluid. I pissed off nobody behind me and conserved the precious juice while using it at a safe driving speed which would alienate relatively nobody.

Remember this when you cruise down the highway, oblivious to your surroundings. Remember that there is almost ALWAYS someone else around to take into consideration and think about how they will be affected by your thoughtless actions.

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