I admit it. I accept it. And I really don't care. But for some reason, I need to be reminded of it every time I start my car, usually as I am halfway down my driveway. I hear a beep and my half-asleep self thinks, "Oh no, I need gas." The thing is, I don't need gas. Well, maybe a little, but that's not the point of the beep and the point of the lit-up "Low Wash" indicator. That's the real giveaway that I need wiper fluid -- the fact that there's a light that tells me that every day. I catch on fast...
I don't like this "Low Wash" indicator for a few reasons, with the first one being that I just don't care about windshield wiper fluid, especially when there are more important things to worry about. There are ants, for example. What will do about the nation's ants?
The second reason -- the most important reason -- is that I think it's a waste of technology and, ultimately, money. I want to go to a car dealer and ask if I can pay a hundred dollars less for a car if I buy one without this particular feature. "But how will you know when you need wiper fluid?" the dealer will ask me...
"I'll know when I press the wiper fluid button and nothing comes out," I'll reply.
And how in the heck can you argue with that logic? I want to get every car company to get rid of this feature with the agreement that I will do it manually for half the price. Sure, it'll get dull after a while, but I can sit in people's cars and wait until they press their wiper buttons. If nothing comes out of the wiper, I'll nod and say, "Yep, needs fluid." It's a lot more personal than the electronic display and I won't beep when I make my announcement ... unless they make that request...
I'm also bothered by the fact that my car isn't telling me more important things. Tell me if a driving-school car is behind me. Tell me if an old lady is anywhere on the road. Tell me if it's worth reaching through the seat to look for the dollar that I lost. These are just three examples of what cars can tell us. Getting into the fourth example requires background knowledge of thermonuclear physics, and I stopped writing about that years ago...
I don't like that cars give warnings such as "Low Wash" but do not allow the driver to respond to it. That's a bit too demanding for me, and I think it decreases the quality of conversation I can have with the car's interior. If cars allowed responses, just think of how different my situation would be:
Car: You need wiper fluid.
Me: Okay, thanks, car. I will get it at some point.
Car: So, you know that you need wiper fluid?
Me: I do now, thank you.
Car: No problem. In fact, I am going to shut up now.
Me: Good, because it's hard to listen to the radio with all your gibberish.
Car: Haha, good one.
See, just look at the type of relationship that could be formed with this type of car. The wipers will suffer, but the driver will not. I think America acquired Alaska in a similar deal, and we should be able to learn from that. In the meantime, I need to get some black construction paper to cover up my "Low Wash" indicator. And I'll talk to the birds to make sure they understand where their business should take place...
But I digress.
the weekly saga
By Greg Gagliardi
has been writing "Progressive Revelations" since 1998.