At a certain point in the problem solving process, it's time to reassess your strategy. That time is after your solution has failed three straight times and made the problem three times as bad. A Dave Barry blog reader named nursecindy writes:
We have had a lot of rain here in N.C. Unfortunately no one told my daughter's neighbor that the ground gets soggy when it rains. He left his truck in a field near her house overnight. The next day it was stuck up to its axles so he called a friend, who also got stuck. Thinking the third time would be the charm, they called another friend, who also got stuck. They called yet another friend, and he got stuck too. Finally they called a friend with a tractor. When this picture was taken by my daughter, they had freed one of the trucks.