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Push starting the car

Push starting the car – Oh, the value of clearly understood instructions! It’s really hard to blame the wife …

About five years ago the battery in my beat-up VW Beetle had died because I left the lights on overnight.

I was in a hurry to get to work on time so I ran into the house to get my wife to give me a hand to start the car.

I told her to get into our second car and use it to push my car fast enough to start it. I told her that because the VW had an automatic transmission, it needed to be pushed at least 30 mph for it to start. She said fine, hoped into her car and drove off.

I sat there growing steadily more angry, wondering where she was and what she could be doing. A minute later I found out when I saw her in the rear-view mirror coming at me at about 40 mph—and I realized that I should have been a bit clearer with my directions.

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