Tommy Needs a Tow

Oct 17, 2020

RAY: Many years ago, I received a late night phone call from my brother. I knew it was one of two things - either his wife threw him out and he needed a place to sleep, or his car had broken down. Or both.

He says, "I need help. Do you have a rope to tow with?" I say, "Yeah. Sure. I'll be right there." So, I watch the news and the "Tonight Show," I take a shower and I make a sandwich - and then I decide to head out and give him a hand.

I arrive with my car, tow rope in hand. He's asleep in his car, snuggled up with one of his favorite raccoons. He wakes up and tells me what's wrong. I say, "I can't tow you, you knucklehead." And Tommy says, "We only have a few blocks to go. I'll tow you."

I say, "Huh?" But he's right. The question is, what's wrong with his car? Now, don't forget: Tommy's the one that broke down and he's going to tow me back.



RAY: The reason he can tow me and I can't tow him is that his brakes have failed and because I have a rope, if I tow him, when I stop, he's going to slam into me. But, if rather he tows me when he needs to stop, he can signal me and by my stepping on the brakes --

And I will stop him as well.


Get the Car Talk Newsletter