I recently suffered through a soul-wrenching personal tragedy that I wouldn't wish upon even the vilest of human monsters (like self-proclaimed "Son of Satan" Charlie Sheen, for instance, or beloved American superstar Angela Lansbury).
The tragedy was that my winter break ended, and I had to return to the ill-conceived Midwestern metropolis - known fictionally as Midland City - where I go to school.
The day before leaving Saranac Lake, I carried out my usual pre-trip car-preparation ritual. First, I drove my sensible four-door sedan - a 1999 Chevy Malibu, constructed almost entirely out of rust - to Stewart's, where I filled the gas tank and inflated my tires well past the recommended maximum pounds-per-square inch (on the theory that if fully inflated tires improve fuel efficiency, then extra-fully inflated tires - tires inflated almost to the point of exploding with the force of several tons of dynamite - must improve fuel efficiency even more).
Next, I purchased a jug of windshield-washer fluid - the blue variety, which I like best, because it tastes of grain alcohol and ammonia.
[Note: do not drink windshield-washer fluid. For one, it isn't as delicious as I've implied. Also, it's the deadliest poison of all time ever produced by man. How deadly is it? It's so deadly that if you so much as imagine imbibing the stuff, it will burn a hole through your insides, killing you in the slowest, most excruciating fashion imaginable. And it won't lose a wink of sleep over the whole affair, either, because wiper fluid lacks even a rudimentary conscience.]
When I left town the following morning, I found the roads moist and salty. By the time I was halfway to Tupper Lake, my windshield was smeared with more grime than Rob Schneider's reputation after the premiere of Judge Dredd. I squeezed the washer-fluid button, but the wipers only thudded dryly across the windshield. I figured they were icy - that I could stop at the Save-A-Lot plaza and scrape the blades off and everything would work out fine - but I figured wrong.