Which Blades to Buy?

May 23, 2005

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?"
RAY: When I ran back to the car, I measured the blade on the passenger side.

Then when I emerged with the 18-inch blades it was starting to rain and I figure if I'm going to put one blade on the car where am I going to put it? On the passenger side? No! I'm going to put it on the driver's side—and it was an inch too short.

The reason it was an inch too short is that this car, like lots of cars, has different sized blades. This car had a 19-inch blade on the driver's side and an 18-inch blade on the passenger side.

So what did I buy? One of each.

Do we have a winner?

TOM: You bet we do. The winner is Jason Horn from Wyndham, Connecticut. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Jason gets a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com where he can get a copy of our latest collection of disrespectful car music called, "Born Not to Run."

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