Suck It Up Buttercup
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Suck It Up! Hip-Pocket Survival With Sergeant Paine

All right, you barrel-chested freedom fighters, bring it on around and take a knee for your safety brief, but watch yourselves. Can somebody tell me why in the world there are surfaced land mines all over my green grass? Whose f*ckin’ K9 had a taco salad for lunch? Damn! Be a responsible human and clean up after it! Private Sparky, you look like an animal lover. Make sure all this shit gets cleaned up, and no more dogs on my beautiful lawn! Now, on to my safety brief … 


Men, ’tis the season of mud-slingin,’ rock-crawlin,’ hill-climbin’ and four-wheelin’ off roadin’ fun, and—for some of you—Jeepin’ too. Hopefully, when engaging in these great American pastimes, your vehicle is properly equipped for their challenges. However, when you are on the family vacation to the Outer Banks, understand that your soccer MILF’s minivan does not have the necessary off-road capabilities. Hell, some of you poor bastards probably can’t afford a minivan, let alone one with all-wheel drive. But as I look around, you are clearly some ugly-ass bastards who probably don’t need to be breeding anyway. Doc, make sure we are all stocked up on prophylactics! I digress … 

So, to the point—do you men know how the powertrain works on a vehicle? Let me give you a snapshot: By the time the power gets from the engine to the rear axle, which has two sides that rotate independently of each other, that power is looking for the path of least resistance, which happens to be whichever tire can rotate more easily. This is why when you pull onto the shoulder of the road, you risk getting stuck. Loose gravel on the shoulder only has to be under one tire for you to be shit out of luck. 


So, before you stomp on the gas pedal and bury your car to the frame in roadside slop, I suggest you try to fool your vehicle. That’s right, heroes, fool the mechanics of the vehicle’s drivetrain! When stuck in a situation like this, simply feather your brake pedal while pressing the gas pedal simultaneously (for you knuckle draggers, that means at the same time).

You can trick the axle and transfer the power to the opposite tire, which should have more traction. Pressing the brake while staying on the gas makes the power transfer back and forth between the wheels as it searches for the easier path, allowing you to escape the berm and get back on the asphalt. You can even do it unnoticeably enough that “Household 6” won’t even raise an eyebrow. Can you imagine how shitty your day would be stuck on the side of the road with screaming kids and a pissed-off wife? Forget about it …

Heat Wave

However, if you don’t go to the beach and instead find yourself in the deserts of the Southwest, here is another tip for your brain-housing group. It gets really hot out there in the summertime, and the asphalt does some hyper shit to tires. Say you get a blowout—not just a flat—and chunks of sidewall are missing, and, for whatever reason, your spare tire is MIA. In a pinch, to get out of nowhere land pack the blown-out tire heavily with sagebrush, gravel and sand. If you can figure out a way to close up the hole, even better. This should allow you to slowly and carefully limp your metric POS to sick call. Now, go do manly shit this weekend!

Check out our podcast Skillset Live, for more motivation like this safety brief from Sgt. Paine! Get in on the conversation on our social media pages or pick up a back issue at

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