Calling for a tow or doing it yourself

Along this way we’re bound upon, we can awaken to find ourselves in a dark wood — or not. Either way, we may need a tow. To that dark wood, let’s add a swamp — that way we can get buried to our axles.

I’ll not discuss scenarios of causation. I’ve never heard a good one and can offer none of my own. So, given that we are in a dark swamp buried, let’s forego a consideration of how we got there and concentrate solely on getting out.

First, the old way:

After exiting the vehicle through the driver’s-side window — the door being pinned shut — we walk out of the swamp in total darkness moving through thorns and masses of mosquitoes toward that gravel road we recently abandoned. In the distance: a faint light. We start toward it, tripping along through puddles of recently fallen rain. Beneath that dim, distant glow, we bargain with a farmer to retrieve us with his tractor and chains. He agrees — for all the cash we then possess.

Things have changed.

Now we need only press an all-occasion help button that causes an entire communication grid to spring into action while we wait, sorting through plausible explanations. Soon, we will be talking to a person who knows us and knows exactly where we are — a person we don’t know or have a clue where they are. That person, after conferring with unknown entities, will provide us with an evaluation of our situation.

Or, we can call Jerome’s towing.

Jerome’s has pulled larger things than you, me, and our automobiles out of deeper swamps. Plus — and this is important — they won’t ask a lot of embarrassing questions, having learned long ago people buried to their axles in swamps seldom have good answers.

The Jerome Towing people have to accomplish all this in an environmentally friendly way. Did you know that milk and ice cream leaking from an overturned dairy truck are considered hazardous substances? Neither did I.

Brett and Brian Szczerowski, owners of Jerome’s Towing — though still young men — have seen things most of us won’t see in a lifetime. But they have the equipment, skills, experience — and, yes the finesse — to handle it. Wouldn’t it be something if we could all say that?

Riding high in the shotgun position of their massive, 60-ton, hydraulically gifted tow truck provides a perspective that reveals the pettiness in many of life’s issues. I kept suppressing the urge to ask Brian to simply hook onto things and tow them away.

As we rode along, I entertained myself by considering a reversal of the usual towing situation, from the tow’s destination being determined by those needing the tow to those doing the towing.

I thought it interesting to consider this proposition in a political context. Instead of towing things and people out of the swamp, tow trucks would tow people back into the swamp who had been allowed to leave but never should have.

Those return hauls to the mire could serve a presently important need. Think of voting as such towing.

Then there are those swamps where, once entered, we sink deeply into ignorance and hatred for some person or group related only to the way God made them. We descend into these situations with as much justification as we had for running off a remote gravel road into a quagmire.

But who will pull us out of such a morass?

History indicates and life continuously demonstrates we may be unable to rely upon our political or religious leaders for liberation, that we may have to look elsewhere for our salvation.

When we do, we find we can depend only on ourselves and the goodness that is in us.

Even Jerome’s Towing doesn’t have a tow truck capable of lifting us from such depths.

Doug Pugh’s “Vignettes” runs biweekly on Tuesdays. He can be reached at pughda@gmail.com.


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