VITERBO UNIVERSITY | SPRING 2014 | VOLUME 78

TOUCHSTONE

LITERATURE

WINDSHIELD WIPERS ARE A SHITTY INVENTION

Alex Diciaula

said no one in history, ever.
How the hell else could one drive

their used 2002 Chevy minivan
in the distorting precipitation

while weaving through frightened traffic?
Taping umbrellas to the hood

would last an underwhelming 30 seconds
(and that’s not what she said).

Pitching a tent above the car might work
against the windshield’s increasing pile of snow

but won’t defend the car’s lenses
from the inevitable splash of bug guts.

It must have been so embarrassing
to be the first person to drive without a wiper

in a rainstorm. Pulled over and stranded on an island
highway, consumed with confusion

and the decision whether to be late to his
girlfriends’ sister’s husband’s friend’s nephew’s birthday party

or drive blindly into the raincloud of a road
and risk this trivial life for some kid at Chuck E Cheese.

So let’s all give thanks and praise,
with none of it for Henry Ford,

instead to the inventor of the windshield wiper
whose name no one knows.