Yes, I drive a truck. A 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 with Hemi engine. Dark Gray with just a little rust starting to creep-up along the rear wheel wells, like the distinguishing gray hair that begins to show on the side of a guy’s head and his sideburns as he ages. Folks tend to call their cars, boats, trucks, motorcycles “shes”. But I think my truck is a “he”. I mean how many chicks are there with “Hemi” engines? Don’t answer that….
I bought my truck for several reasons:
- I needed a new car, the tiny Ford Escort station wagon that I had been driving was causing my spine to curl up as I crammed my body into its miniature cockpit.
- I felt confident that having a pick-up truck in the driveway would help me fit in more with the neighbors and make any potential home intruders suspect that there may be lots of shotguns and other armaments inside.
- I wanted a car with four-wheel drive that could get through our unplowed, snowy roads in the winter and my mud filled driveway in the spring.
Actually #3 was the primary reason. #1? Yeah I really did need a new car. #2? Purely in jest!
What is it about guys driving trucks? Sure, I can see if you’re a builder or a farmer or some other man-type where you need space in the back to throw all your lumber or hay or other such dirty items. But there are a lot of guys that own and drive trucks that not only have never had anything of any manly significance piled in the bed of the truck, but have also never driven it anywhere but back and forth to work, or to the mall, or maybe to a Wal-Mart! I liken it to the SUV craze that hit this country in the last couple decades that only recently has begun to decline as gas prices scared people off.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I use my truck to drive a thirty minute commute back and forth to work. Other than on really snowy days when the roads haven’t been plowed, it’s a pretty stupid way to get to work and back. At about 12-13 mpg’s, it’s a terribly inefficient vehicle and very costly to keep filled with gas. But I love it! At 6′ 1″ tall I fit comfortably in it, and yes, I have hauled stuff in it, lumber, gravel, furniture, hay bales, bags of garbage, junk going to the dump, even the pieces and parts of a friends swimming pool prior to installation. Friends ask to borrow it occasionally when they have their own stuff to move around and I’ve gladly let them take “him” for a spin. I’ve even given the kids the occasional ride around the “country block” in the truck bed. Frankly, I’m not sure how the last 5-6 years would have gone had I not had a truck available when I needed it. Especially during the 4-5 years when we were actively renovating our farmhouse. It’s been useful, and although I am aware I am doing my part in destroying the ozone layer, I have justified its necessity in making my life run just a little smoother.
But now I may be getting close to the decision to buy a new car. Yes, something that gets some decent gas mileage and doesn’t cost $60.00 to fill up every week. Something like a Ford Edge is the direction I am heading. I’d still like to keep my truck though. He’s all paid for and if it’s not too costly to keep some insurance on him maybe I can just keep him around for the occasional renovation project, the occasional dump trip, the occasional snowy day, the occasional testosterone filled man-event!
And someday when the time comes to let him go… what’s the proper burial? Put him up on blocks out in the field and let him rust away… like those iconic pieces of farm equipment that dot the graveyards of our country’s rural landscape. Or send him to the junkyard? Hopefully, that’s a decision I can avoid making until a time far down the road… and a dirt road would be preferable!