By Derrick Knutson, associate editor
Until recently, if someone had asked me what a come along winch was, I probably would have said, “Umm, a winch that comes along with you, even if you don’t want it to?”
I now know it’s a devise used to remedy driving absentmindedness.
Let me explain.
Being quite the intrepid newsman, I decided to hop in my car a couple weeks ago to check out an area business rumored to be going through foreclosure. Upon arrival at said business, my powers of astute deduction – sight, namely – led me to the conclusion that there was indeed nobody operating the business any longer.
Going further into this investigation, I decided to swing my car around to the back of the business, through its snow-covered parking lot, in order to take a photo or two of the now-vacant building.
While driving through the parking lot and visually sizing up the building for the best angle at which to take a photo, I drove overtop a concrete parking pylon used to separate the business’s lot from the surrounding residential properties.
My first through was one of relative surprise – I thought I had run over some kind of rugged, tubular animal, perhaps someone’s large pet ferret.
When I got out of the car, there was no large blood splat in the snow; I had struck something far more solid than a foot-long mammal, the aforementioned pylon.
I stuck the car in reverse and ever so softly hit the gas, but no dice. The tires dug holes in the soil behind the pylon. I was sufficiently stuck.
Deciding I didn’t want to pay $50-plus to have a tow truck move my car about a foot so I could drive it again, I called my coworker, Jon, and he drove over to the parking lot so we could have a brainstorming session about how to free the car.
Jon drove us back to the Post Review office and there we heeded the advice of MaryHelen, our editor, and headed out to a local rental shop in search of something to help move the car.
The business’s proprietor suggested we attach a come along winch to Jon’s car and use it to free mine.
When he presented us with the devise, I glanced at it and tried to pretend I was a macho guy’s guy who had been playing with winches since birth, but in all honesty I don’t think I’d ever seen one before.
He could have showed me a hamburger, said it was a come along winch, and I would have believed him.
Thankfully, he showed us how to use the winch, and we successfully implemented it to move my car overtop the pylon and back into the parking lot.
Well, the winch got one tire over the pylon before it popped off, so Jon and I then pushed the front of car while Mary, our advertising representative, drove my car in reverse to get it all the way into the parking lot.
I learned a valuable lesson that day: snow is quite the agent of camouflage, and I should attach a propane heater to the font of my car to melt any of it in my way, just to be on the safe side.