When you’re waiting for the Jeep’s transmission to finish failing…

…confirmation bias can lead you to error.

So I’m coming home from the Monday morning water run, right? And I get to the wash…


…and tap the brake, which causes the bottle of drinking water on the shotgun seat to topple over.


I set it back upright and don’t give it any more thought. Then I reach down to put the Jeep in 4-wheel, hit the gas…


…and the engine goes Vroom but does not propel the Jeep in any direction. I figure the trans lost pressure, since it’s still kind of cold. Press the gas again. Vroom, no movement. A third time, same result. This is bad. Has the trans chosen this inconvenient moment to stop pining for the fjords and become no more? Has it passed on? Ceased to be? Expired and gone to meet its maker? Is it a late transmission? Bereft of life, does it rest in peace?

I despair and begin concocting strategies to get six gallons of water and two grocery bags through half a mile of soft sand. A few terrible seconds pass before it occurs to me to check whether that falling water bottle hasn’t knocked the shift handle out of drive. Which, of course, it has.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to When you’re waiting for the Jeep’s transmission to finish failing…

  1. Ben says:

    “ Has the trans chosen this inconvenient moment to stop pining for the fjords and become no more?”

    Is there a convenient time?

    But naturally there are shades of inconvenience. Your first thought seemed to be about achieving the logical conclusion of your shopping trip, but my first thought was that a dry wash is a bad place to park…anything.

  2. Joel says:

    During Monsoon that would have been my first thought. There are times when I’m very careful what/when I drive into the wash.

  3. Mike says:

    Oh, Joel, I know the feeling something like this brings all too well.

    We’re on well water and have a softener. Like I have done for the past twenty years in the spring and fall, I swapped out the 5-micron pre-filter. This time an hour after I was done the system quit. It just would not work. I did all the troubleshooting I could think of and finally called my Bro-in-law who is a plumber/steamfitter. He shows up and we head to the basement. I recount what I had done to troubleshoot the problem. He looks at the system and before taking anything apart he presses on the electrical box exterior and the pump starts working. Then he turns off the power, opens the box and tightens up one loose screw, flips the power back on and smiles at me.

  4. Joel says:

    he turns off the power, opens the box and tightens up one loose screw, flips the power back on and smiles at me.

    I’ve had moments like that, and love them.

    Of course when it’s somebody else doing it to me, I really hate that guy.

To the stake with the heretic!