I have not fully escaped the tenacious grip of toadian motor madness.
I try. Stop thinking about it i tell myself. Spend thee no money on wheels.
But they call, the motor vehicles. Take me home they say, in a hellish chorus of steel and rubber and internal combustion. Take me home, temptresses with shiny paint and gleaming chrome.
I can resist anything but temptation, as they say.
After the modern muscle car that recently held my fancy (and from which I reluctantly turn aside, high price and un-proven mechanical merit gradually drowning out the take-me-home-tonight siren song of the word hemi), I’ve turned back in time to a former love.
Trucks, I say. That’s what I’m all about.
While my first car, and my second, were boat-sized american iron from the third quarter of last century, the first two vehicles I ever bought with my own hard-earned dough, and the first and only new car I ever bought myself (and i say that again, for emphasis, one, and only one, in near thirty years as a driver. I’ve bought myself only one new, shiny vehicle) were both trucks.
I’ve owned a lot of vehicles over the years. Five or six different motorcycles, two jeeps, an impala, three mini-vans, two trucks, three or four SUVs, a datsun 200sx, a chevy nova, and I’m sure a couple more I can’t quite recall. And of all these, when I run them through my head, four stand out out (not counting the motorcycles). The Jeeps (one inherited from my father, one bought used as a replacement for Dad’s under-powered wrangler), and the trucks (both blue, both toyota). Those were me.
I have a bit of ego invested in what I drive. I’ve come to that conclusion of late, while pondering practical solutions to a practical vehicle problem. I look at a wide range on non-descript, affordable, practical, fuel-efficient options. And I cannot even imagine owning them.
I try to think practical. Utilitarian. Solve the problem – Form Follows Function, as my friend Stephen, the founder of Utilikilts, like to say.
I can’t do it. Car as Ego.
I hate driving a mini-van. Yet I can see driving a seventies party van. I hate driving a sedan; yet I would love to drive a cadillac (an old one, not the more recent, soulless ones). I can imagine driving a rolling oddity like a Scion xB, yet I can’t imagine driving it’s less odd brother, the xA
My car needs to say here’s who i am to me.
And so I return to that old love, the truck.
Of course the very first thing I do is to start thinking in size-queen terms. I shop up the ladder; big, bigger, and then on to fuckin’ huge. Trucks so big I’d need two garages to park them.
I wouldn’t have something like that if you gave it to me; yet I am shopping for it. I can’t stop. I’m almost to Monster Truck territory with this.
I’m picturing riding high in some stupid-huge truck with my tattooed arm out the window; Hey baby. And they wonder what I’m compensating for.
And then I wind it back; what do I need, actually? And I step back through Dodge Rams and Toyota Tundras and Nissan Titans (which I think of as the Nissan Titanic, and that makes me want one), and wind up back down at a level that’s just close enough to sane that I can think about it, which is where the danger in. Trucks with names like Frontier and Tacoma.
I sat down the other day and calculated trade-in values and car payments, and thought about selling my Peets stock to make up the difference.
And I fear, when I finish this, I may go test drive.
Someone stop me. I don’t need a truck.