Going Uphill In The Rain
It’s 19-fifty-something; you are driving in the rain and you see a steep hill ahead of you. Problem: (a) Do you want to go up the hill, or (b) Do you want to see through the windshield? You can’t do both; the days when wipers will be independent of the engine have not yet arrived. Hills and wipers are still mortal enemies.
You have to get up that hill and you must do it fast because your girlfriend is in the seat next to you and her father will be waiting under the front porch with an axe if she is a minute late. You have mounting the hill on your mind; he has mounting something else on his mind. And you can hear the grinding-wheel even at this distance.
The car starts up the hill and you increase the gas. The wipers slow down. You give it more gas and the wipers stop. So you take your foot off the accelerator for a moment to let the wipers make a sweep and the car slows down. Ram the gas pedal to the floor to keep the car rolling and the wipers stop again.
You can imagine your head on the chopping block like a turkey on the day before Thanksgiving so you let up on the gas for just a moment, enough to clear a little spot. Your girlfriend has her hand around you and, as you approach her house, you beg her to let go. Her father is there, his watch in hand. You made it.