The One-Man Vernacular Tow Never Ends Well

I grew up in rural America.  I have seen some half-assed things.  I have seen houses with mold stalactites coming down from the ceiling.  I have watched my mom fall through a hole in a porch that was “repaired” by putting some green fake grass carpeting over it.  I have put a washcloth on a baby in hopes that that would hold whatever might come out of said baby until someone returned with diapers.


But never, until I moved to Nashville, had I seen people just towing around other cars with nothing more than a pick-up truck and a rope.


I think that it goes without saying that if you tow a vehicle behind your pick-up truck with nothing more than a rope or a chain you are an idiot.


But at least, if you’re going to be an idiot, be a two-person team of idiots.  This is a hilly city, one, and so you need someone to break when you’re going down hill and you really need someone to sit in the car and steer.


Needless to say, the guy we saw towing a car behind his pick-up truck this morning had not taken such precautions.  As scary as it was, it was also amazing to see.  He got out, aimed the car in the direction he wanted it to go (into the street) and then got in his truck and started driving.  Of course, the car kept going straight, kind of diagonally across the street, and he had to jump out of the truck and grab the steering wheel and kind of scoot along beside the car and yank on the wheel. 


Once he got the car to a stop and it was actually in the road, he got back in the truck, shouted to us “I’m going to need to be in front of you” and started pulling the car up the hill.  The car, as one might imagine, started to gently sway back and forth across the road, first way over to mere inches from us, then way over to the other side almost into the electric pole, then back across almost into the boxy van of the cute neighbor who, unfortunately for him, was running late for work and so almost got hit by a driverless car.


And finally, it was at the top of the hill.


I pulled the dog’s leash and we hurried as fast as we could, because, at that moment, I realized that he intended to take the car all the way to the end of our street, to tuck his piece of shit car in our dead end, hidden from anyone who wasn’t looking for it by the curve of the hill going down into our dead end.  And boy, once I realized he was going to try to put that thing in my front yard, I really wanted to see it smash into his pretty truck once it had the momentum of the hill behind it.


Alas, he must have realized that the slope of the hill would have left him no way to control the momentum of the car, because he let it drift into the grass at the top of the hill and then hightailed it back by us as fast as he could.


I’ll be curious to see how long it sits there.

10 thoughts on “The One-Man Vernacular Tow Never Ends Well

  1. I’ve actually done the two-man version of tow-by-chain, and it’s not really all that hard (though of course I don’t recommend it when there are better options).But one person by themselves? Wow. Either crazy, stupid, or brilliant, or all of the above.

  2. seen this and worse … just live in the nation’s capitol for awhile, you’d be amazed. no, not the surrounding burbs, but really IN the city, preferably the Northeast, where you’ll be treated to the best and most oft repeated stupid human tricks – simply hang out in the Home Depot parking lot for awhile.my personal favorite is either a mattress and box spring or sheets of plywood strapped to the hood of a car with a twine-like substance and one hand on either side of the car attempting to hold the thing on, on city streets – but even better on a road where the speed limit it 50+…though being a mid-westerner I haven’t been fully above such ridiculousness while in a car… one year in early january after folks had discarded their xmas trees to the curb, we drove around one night collecting them by hanging on to them outside the car, dragging in the snow (I wanted them to create a shelter for the birds in our backyard).

  3. Sarcastro keeps awesome heavy construction equipment in the bed of his truck. I’m not sure he’d want to risk the potential damage to his jackhammer.Exador though… I could see the Wayward Boy Scout trying something like that.

  4. I seem to remember a time when my uncle and I came to the rescue of a certain person, who shall remain nameless, by doing the 2 person version of this. Said person’s Thunder Chicken was broken down at the local gas station if I remember correctly.

  5. Oh my god! I forgot about that. I should not make sweeping pronouncements when people who’ve known me since high school are around to set the record straight.

  6. I have deadheaded a Ford Escort in a team with a friend driving a bitchin’ Plymouth Duster. We did have a tow chain, but unfortunately it was at a time in Cleveland’s history when every square inch of road was lined with pothole and concrete barriers. That was one hairy ride (not to mention that the Escort’s brakes were the whole source of the problem for which it was being towed).For a smart person, I have really done some dumb shit.

  7. Of course I’ve done the two-person tow, although I feel like I should be offended that y’all expected that I did. Also,When moving from south-of-Atlanta to north-of-Atlanta, we tied the king-sized mattress to the top of our two-door Duster. We referred to it as The Turtle after that because the mattress had hung so far down on all sides, there was only about three inches between it and the hood. I still remember passing a traffic cop and seeing him shake his head ruefully at the sight.

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