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April 2009 Dr. Vern - Longer Jeep

Posted in Features on April 1, 2009
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Contributors: Dr. Vern

"We've got to get a longer Jeep!" These timeless words were spoken by none other than Shemp. A true sign of stardom is when you're immediately recognizable with just one name. On the slim chance you didn't make the connection, he was one of the Three Stooges, an act which was a highpoint of low-brow humor. Shemp spoke these words during a favorite episode where the boys were plumbers.

Before our esteemed trio could start hitting each other with pipes and spraying water everywhere in true Three Stooges fashion, they had to get to the jobsite. This is where the Jeep came into play. Their office was an old firehouse, and the Jeep was parked beneath the brass pole. Our favorite plumbers were upstairs, and when the call arrived, they needed only to grab their tool bags and slide down the pole directly into the pristine CJ-2A waiting for them. (You know you're a Jeep fanatic when you find yourself drooling over a then-new Jeep from so many years ago.) Poor Shemp got the short end of the stick, as usual. He was the last man down the pole, and instead of landing on a padded seat in the back of the Jeep, he landed on the concrete floor just in time to watch Moe and Larry speed off a few seconds too soon. Once he composed himself and sat up, he then muttered his famous words about the need for a longer Jeep.

Like Shemp, I have recently found myself in a similar situation. No, I'm not about to accidentally bean somebody with a gigantic monkey wrench. All I'm saying is I need a longer Jeep. Shemp wanted a longer Jeep so he wouldn't get left behind next time, but it's a little different in my situation. My Jeep had been fine for years but suddenly it doesn't have enough room in it. It needs an extra row of seats. Before I 'splain, let's talk a little bit more about Shemp. Of course, everybody knows the Three Stooges became famous with Curly, but eventually he was sidelined with serious health problems. It was Shemp who stepped in and kept the act going strong, when by rights the franchise could have easily folded.

I'm on dangerous ground here, as I go on to claim Shemp was my favorite of all the Stooges. I realize I'm in the minority and am willing to face the wrath of the Curly-ites, but there's a lot to be said for a gracious second act. On a similar note, it's time to announce I've met a really nice woman and will be married soon. In my book, "really nice" is secret code for "likes Jeeps." Even more amazing, or perhaps alarming, is the fact that she likes the Three Stooges, too. Wow, a match made in heaven! While those two things already had me sold on her, the icing on the cake is that she's downright gorgeous. My only concern is her taste in men, but there's not much I can do about that. I know she's a keeper because she didn't complain when the engagement ring made her skin turn green.

This is where I expect the deluge of warning letters and urgent phone calls. "Doc, don't you remember what happened when a certain previously-devoted wife lit off in pursuit of greener pastures and you had to thin your Jeep herd to feed the lawyers?" Sure, I remember that, and I have the hole in my wallet to prove it. At least I can say with complete authority there's no way my bride-to-be could be plotting to drain my bank account. If she were after my money, she'd be marrying my ex-wife. However, while my fianc is still on speaking terms with me, there are some important things I need to do. For example, I thought I'd stay ahead of the inevitable, and have taken the liberty of buying her a new car and signing over my 200.5k retirement account. (If you've never heard of that plan, it's what happens to a 401k under community property laws.)

Ah, enough of that. She likes Jeeps! Raise your hand if you get to say that about your better half. Not just tolerates them, or doesn't complain too loudly, but actually likes Jeeps. Here is an actual quote: "One Jeep isn't enough." Imagine the following words from somebody pretty enough to make a guy write bad checks: "Need anything from the swap meet?" Pinch me, I must be dreaming...

Like most Jeeps that followed me home, I'm getting a few extras with this deal, too. If you have some iffy parts that should get tossed, it's a time-honored trick to throw them in while selling a Jeep. You can pretend you're doing the buyer a favor, when all you're really doing is saving yourself a trip to the dump. Only in my case, instead of getting boxes of questionable spare parts or an old tire that wasn't even suitable for use as a swing, I've come out way ahead because I'm gaining a few highly valuable kids. As if raising my own wasn't enough, I'm adding to my collection. These aren't just any kids, either, but ones who had never been out in a Jeep, hence the need for extra room. I have no delusions, and know full well my enlarged brood will cause me to go nuts. To borrow another line from Hollywood, this time from Archie Bunker, I'm sure they'll drive me crazy and I'll end up in a hospital with tubes up my nose. That may be true, but in the meantime I get to introduce them to the world of Jeeps, take them camping, teach them how to alphaburp (burping the entire alphabet, for the uninitiated), and all that good stuff that Dads get to do. Sounds like a fair deal, and then some. What more could a guy want? Until next time, happy trails to you. Dr. Vern

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