Which Blades to Buy?

The Puzzler

RAY: This puzzler was sent in by Jim Walworth. I had to change this a lot. Like, almost entirely.

TOM: But, he gave you the idea?

RAY: Exactly. Here it is:

"As I drove home last week it began raining. I was reminded that my wiper blades were in bad need of replacing. I spotted an auto parts store and pulled over to the curb, so I could run in.

"As I began to open the door of the parts store, I realized that I didn't know what size blades were on my car. So, I ran back and with an outstretched hand I estimated the blade length. I went into the store and, matching my hand to the blades hanging on the display, I determined that I needed 18-inch blades. I purchased two of them and ran out to my car. The rain was getting heavy.

"Well, I figured that I could get at least one new blade installed before I got drenched. But as I began to install that first new blade, I realized that it was one inch too short. How could that be?

"I was embarrassed by my error, but I went back into the store for the 19-inch blades. Rather than go through the return process before I was certain, I convinced the sales clerk to let me take the 19-inchers out to check the size.

"The rain had let up quite a bit by now and, confident that I'd be on my way in short order, I removed a new 19-inch blade from its package, and began to install it. I was shocked to find out that it was an inch too long.

"The question is which blades did I buy? Or, did I just give up and buy a bottle of Rain-X?"

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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