Join the Car Talk Community!

Stuck between a Ditch and a Divorce!

The Puzzler


RAY: This was submitted by Marty Kaponowski. Here it is:

'It was a dark and stormy night. I was late getting out of work and I was hurrying a wee bit. Truth be known it was my wife's birthday and if I got home too late, well, need I elaborate?

'I had decided on a short cut, a seldom used dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I took a turn a little too fast and found myself in the fight of my life trying to avoid crashing into a tree. When I finally came to a stop my car had three wheels touching the road, but the right front corner of the car was resting on the underbody and the right front wheel was dangling over the roadside drainage ditch about a foot from the mud and the twigs below.

'I wasn't about to call my wife, obviously. And if I called for a tow truck my wife would problably have had the divorce papers filled out before he could even hook me up. I was on my own and I knew it. Boy, I wished I'd had a four-wheel-drive truck but I didn't. Instead I had a front-wheel-drive Corolla with one of those front wheels in the ditch.

'Now everyone who's ever been stuck on ice or mud or whatever knows that the wheel with the best traction gets none of the engine's power with all of it going to the other wheels. So when you're on ice, the wheel on the ice spins like crazy and the wheel on dry pavement just sits there. And in this case the one dangling over the ditch was the one with no traction. What to do, what to do?

'I opened the trunk and looked for inspiration. I thought about using the jack in some clever way, but I didn't have one. I opened the toolbox that I keep in the trunk and I found the following: a can of Bumble Bee tuna, a screwdriver, a pair of vice grips, a roll of electrical tape, a flashlight and a tube of hemorrhoid cream and no Fillipo Berio olive oil. So the question is which one of these did I use and how?'

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit


Rocket Fuel