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A celebration coming soon: check wipers day

Joyce Walter reflects on the celebratory days that fill the calendar
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

If one were inclined to participate in daily celebrations, there seems to be calendars filled with national and international days from which to choose.

There is a lack of public fanfare for most of these celebratory days, but if one has some spare time to browse the various internet sites, the abundance of days and ways to celebrate becomes perfectly clear.

While meandering from site to site one recent day, I came across a calendar that goes from January to December and has every day covered, sometimes with more than one event per day. What a task it must be for the person behind the scenes to co-ordinate all these potential reasons to rejoice or to ponder.

For the most part these days are frivolous in nature, designed for a good laugh. The names tell the tale: national pickle day, peanut butter day, tea day, national stuffing day, take a friend to lunch day, and so on. But the tone of the celebration is usually reflected in the name.

On Nov. 16, for instance, I learned it will be a Day for Tolerance. I thought it might be the perfect time for me to stop being upset with rude and poor drivers. Instead I would exercise tolerance and overlook their behaviour behind the wheel.

For instance, I wouldn’t glare at the driver behind me who honks his horn when I stop for a pedestrian. And I wouldn’t shake my fist at the person who changes lanes without signalling and then makes a rude gesture when I tap on my horn to alert him to my presence. That’s mighty tolerant of me!

Upon further examination, I learned the International Day for Tolerance is backed by the United Nations and is a serious attempt for all of humanity to respect the differences among us, to learn from each other and to live peacefully. I can go along wholeheartedly with the thought behind the day.

Another celebration on the same day also has some good intentions, but I celebrated this particular event days before I knew there might be a party.

Check Wipers Day, windshield wipers that is, has only been a thing since 2021 when the perfect date was believed to be May 16. That changed a year later to Nov. 16 and is now, supposedly, observed in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. I guess it hasn’t caught on yet as a story for The National on CBC.

The purpose for checking the wipers is to ensure optimum visibility in all kinds of weather, from snow storms in winter to rainy days in the spring and summer.

Michelin did a survey in which 92 per cent of drivers agreed that poor blades affect one's driving ability; despite that 90 per cent didn’t plan to check their blades; and imagine this: 55 per cent confessed they didn’t know how to check their blades!

Ten days before I knew about the Nov. 16 celebration I received, not a gold star, but a green check mark, to show that the wiper blades on my vehicle passed the wiper test with flying colours. The test, by the way, was conducted by a qualified blade tester so I am confident my vision will not be impaired by wipers that don’t efficiently wipe.

But I don’t always rely on this professional tester: when the forceful use of the snow scraper shredded one of my wipers last winter, I had it attended to immediately. The garage person agreed with my diagnosis and in a matter of moments I was on my way with brand new wipers (after paying of course.)

I watched how they were installed and in a pinch, and if I were taller or had a stool, I believe I could install them on my own. I wonder, though, if they would receive the green check mark of approval?

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 

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