When Theo is Gone: Windshield Wipers

When I was a kid, there was a kid in the neighborhood named Mamoudo.

Mamoudo was a great kid, and he hung out with us all the time.

The only problem with Mamoudo was that he broke almost everything that he touched. We learned to clear the area of all our favorite toys when Mamoudo was around. He wasn’t particularly reckless or even a large child. He just broke everything that he touched. He broke our bike on it’s maiden voyage down the street. He broke my brothers dump truck. He even broke some of my plastic tea sets.

I’m kind of the same way.

With windshield wipers.

It’s weird, I know. But it seems that every time I get in a car, the windshield wipers cease to function. The problem with windshield wiper problems is that you don’t know that you have a problem until it’s really, actually a problem. In other words, you don’t know that your windshield wipers don’t work, until you NEED them to work.

It was winter ’13-’14, and it was a BRUTAL winter. I was working at a “learning center” and that meant that we didn’t close- ever. We had delays, but I worked in the afternoon, so that didn’t affect me at all. If it was a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, I had to go to work. End of the story. The weather patterns didn’t matter.

This one particular day, it had snowed several inches and it was still coming down when it was time for me to go to work. Theo, of course, was at work. I headed to the car and started to warm it up. I hopped in, and flipped the windshield wipers.


Of course, I couldn’t see a blooming thing, so I just waited for the car to heat up, and then tried again.


Ok. I had two options. Stay home from work (not an option), or drive to work (in a snowstorm) without windshield wipers (not a great option).

So I drove to work. I have no idea how I made it.

There I was driving down the main road in our town, and I had to poke my head out the window just to see where I was going. In the winter. In a snowstorm.

Thankfully, I made it to work, and for the most part I was so busy that I forgot about the predicament of my windshield wipers. Remember, Theo was at work…so I didn’t have an easy fix for the wipers until Theo could get home…the next day.

After work I headed out to my car and started it to warm it up. I had to wait for the windshield to completely defrost. I knew the windshield wipers weren’t working, but I tried them anyways.

Meanwhile, I was calling Theo to whine and cry about the horrors of my life, and how the windshield wipers weren’t working and I was probably going to die on my way home and how horrible that would be. I know, first world problems. AND dramatic girl problems. Poor Theo.

And then….swoosh. It worked!!! The wipers worked!!!


But you know that isn’t the end of the story, right?

I headed home, but as I was pulling out of my parking space I realized that the wipers were going a little too fast. They were swishing back and forth…and going all the way off the windshield. Yikes.

Well, you gotta do what you gotta do, and I started my drive home hoping that the wipers would work all the way home. It was about a three mile drive, so I didn’t have to make it too far.

Each pass of the wipers seemed to be going farther and farther off the windshield.

I was about a mile from home when it happened.

The windshield wipers swished side to side. Side to side. Side to……IT WAS GONE!

I’ll give you two guesses which wiper it was…drivers side or passenger side?

Yep, you got it…the drivers side. The passenger side wiper faithfully swished away, wiping away all the snow from the passenger side.

But the driver side wiper? It was gone. I was on a three lane BUSY road and there was no way I was retrieving that wiper. At that point I knew that I had two options- lean all the way over to the passenger side, or stick my head out of the window. I opted to lean myself all the way over, and somehow safely got myself home.

Phew, I am so glad that Theo came home the next day and replaced that silly windshield wiper!


As a sequel to this story, I have to add that whenever I drive our truck, the windshield wipers don’t work. They work for Theo. They work for me if Theo is with me. They do not work for me when I’m by myself.

I know, strange. But it’s just another one of those things that makes a great When Theo is Gone story!



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