Commander Fails to Take a Command

Lise’s departure had been on the calendar for weeks. We knew we had to let her go. John parked in the cell phone waiting area at the airport while I went in the terminal to have a few more minutes with her. That was my reason. Her plan was to demonstrate how easy it would be for us to get on a plane to Denmark. As she walked toward security, I phoned John to circle around to pick me up. Back came a call from him – the Jeep Commander wouldn’t start. Thank heavens that parking lot was within walking distance of the terminal! John knew the problem was not the battery, because all the lights were working. He turned the key, and nothing happened. My mental threats to the vehicle had no effect, either. He called AAA to send a tow, and we settled down to wait. The car was warm enough while the sun was shining on it. Lise’s plane took off when the clouds in the west were pink and lavender. We began to get a little chilly, wearing only light jackets. Finally the tow truck (called a wrecker by the driver) arrived and loaded up the disabled Jeep. We climbed into the warm cab and set off.

The driver was not particularly talkative, but John wanted to butter him up before asking him to drop us off at home. Unfortunately, we’re getting good at being rescued. Half a year ago we were stuck at Bridal Veil Falls when the Jeep wouldn’t start. The tow truck dumped the vehicle at our local garage and took us home. John began chatting to the man. I questioned John later about the conversation, saying I had not understood half the man’s words.

“I didn’t, either!” declared John. He thought the man grew up in a small mountain town on the NC/SC border. He may have had a mountain accent, but it was nothing like the speech of locals in our area.

That big truck came all the way to our drive, and John tipped the driver as we got out. Instead of using our drive and backing into Jean’s, he backed all the way up the street. Amy said she noticed a lot of lights and wondered what was going on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shawn and Bob heard all the backup beeps.  We couldn’t have announced our homecoming in a more public fashion.

As we walked past the poor old heap the next morning, John tried to start it. No go. I walked to the creek while he went inside to arrange for the repairman to look at it. We spent much of the day in Asheville and checked back on the way home. The owner said he got in the Jeep an hour after John did, and it started immediately. Four times during the day it started as if nothing had ever been wrong with it. We drove it home, but Jeepers! who in their right mind would trust it now?

9 thoughts on “Commander Fails to Take a Command

    1. This is the second time we’ve had a car that sometimes starts and sometimes doesn’t. Often it will start the next day, but you can’t count on it. I don’t think all the sweet talk in the world would make me trust it again. It’s worth a try though. What have we to lose?


  1. Your tow truck experience sounds fun. When traveling from Akron frequently a few years ago, I had a few rides in wreckers myself…..always hair-raising…apparently on the turnpike tow-trucks are allowed to go pretty much as fast as they are able without highway patrol interference. Chatting was always sort of precluded by the roar of the truck motor through the open window.


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