One of the coolest products for the Northwest is Rain-X, the magical stuff that knocks water right off your windshield.
Most of us are introduced to Rain-X due to an emergency. It’s raining felines and canines and suddenly your windshield wipers stop working. After driving five miles with your soggy head out the window, you come across a gas station that doesn’t have the type of windshield wiper your car uses. But the grease monkey in charge says, “Try some Rain-X, it’ll get you home.” So you rub some on your windshield, head out on the highway, and are amazed as all the rain beads up into little balls and bounces off the windshield. It no longer looks like you’re driving six-feet under the ocean, with the water swirling around your windshield forming a visually impenetrable shield. Raindrops to Rain-X are like bullets to Superman, they bounce right off, and the driver can see perfectly well even without windshield wipers.
I drove for weeks with a bottle of Rain-X doing the job of the dysfunctional windshield wipers. In a rainstorm, I always worried when I passed a cop that he would stop me for having no windshield wipers, so eventually I bought some new ones. But I keep Rain-X in the trunk, ready for my next wiper emergency.
Occasionally Rain-X is used for medicinal purposes. After several decades of driving during the rainy season, Northwest residents often suffer from Wiper Neck. This is caused by watching the wipers go back-and-forth, hour after hour, day after day, like a tennis tournament that never ends. Rain-X allows us to turn off the wipers for a few days while our necks gets some rest. Chiropractors hate Rain-X because of all the business it takes away.
My thoughts turn to Rain-X today because school is out this week and I feel sorry for all the kids who expect to be playing on the beach or alongside the pool. This year’s June is more like March, making it difficult to play out in the rain. The raindrops soak the kids to the bone, bringing on chills and, ultimately, pneumonia. Which brings me to my parenting tip of the week: Rub some Rain-X on the kid, and stand back as he enjoys his summer fun.
Rain-X is destined to become the Northwest’s version of sunscreen, only it’s rainscreen. The advertising campaign should show young people on the beach, throwing Frisbees and baking clams while the rain magically bounces off their bodies. Each bathing suit-clad beauty or hunk would be shown inside a cocoon of beaded water, dry and warm as a baby in a blanket.
Whidbey Island merchants should promote Rain-X rainscreen and encourage people to go out and enjoy our beaches, rain or shine! In the summer, it’s usually at least 60 degrees when it’s raining, and that’s warm enough for a bathing suit if you can keep dry. And Rain-X will get the job done.
One possible catch is that I’m not sure if Rain-X is safe for human application. So this summer we’ll test it on tourists. If they come back next year, we’ll know it’s safe for Whidbey Islanders.