Musings of An Old Man

by Brian K. Moore

Stop Car With Foot in Tailpipe

Way back in the ‘30s, motor vehicle laws were much less restrictive. You could do just about anything that you wanted to do as long as you didn’t drive too fast or drive recklessly.

One day Cousin Al and George Walker and I were going somewhere with a car and a trailer. Cousin Al was driving and George and I were riding in the trailer. From my vantage point in the trailer, I could see the tail pipe (the car’s exhaust) sticking out of the back of the car on the right hand side.

I had heard that if you stopped the exhaust from coming out of the tail pipe, you could stop the engine of the car. So I decided to try it. I got on the outside of the railing in the front of the trailer, kind of hanging in space, between the car and the trailer and covered the end of the tailpipe with the sole of my shoe and pressed hard.

The engine lost power and the car slowed way down. So I was doing pretty well with my experiment. Cousin Al, of course, noticed the power failing and figured out what I was doing. So he took countermeasures. He started driving first zig zag and then in tight circles to the left which made it harder for me to reach the tailpipe. I reached farther to keep my foot on the tailpipe and hung on.

This went on for a while, and it became obvious that I couldn’t seal off the tailpipe tightly enough to completely stop the engine, so I gave up and climbed back in the trailer.

Not until we reached our destination did we finally realize what a dumb thing we both had done. I was hanging between the car and the trailer and all that was holding me up was my grip on the trailer railing and my foot on the tailpipe. I could easily fallen between the car and the trailer and been run over by the trailer.

Cousin Al and I had been playing games, I was trying to stop his car and he was trying to shake me off. Neither of us had given any consideration to what the consequences could have been.

I guess it just wasn’t my time.