Trucks, but not monsters

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 […]

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.

16 thoughts on “Trucks, but not monsters”

  1. Aw, dude, if I knew you were jonesing for a stupid huge truck I would have told you when we were selling ours. It was a relly nice stupid huge truck, and we were selling it cheap, too. Someone else with a truck fetish bought it just last week.


  2. Sigh…

    You don’t need a truck.

    but yeah it would be nice wouldn’t it?

    You really don’t.

    can’t afford, but damn…. wanting….

    Don’t do it, KE.


  3. You know, don’t you, that people who can afford it, buy vehicles not that reflect who they really are, but who they really want to be; and people who can’t afford to buy a personality, buy what they can afford, and then say it exactly matches who they are. Well of course it does, at least, it exactly matches the reflection of their wallet.

  4. Reason 1:
    For what it’s worth, I think a man driving a Jeep is infinitely hotter than a man driving a truck.

    A Jeep says something. A Jeep says, “Here’s someone who can take on any situation at a moment’s notice. He’s into adventure–beach, desert, city, long stretches of open highway…wherever he is, he can handle it.” A Jeep person can take off at a without warning anywhere and anytime, and be ready for it. He’s an all-terrain guy. While at the same time, it also implies danger and risk…less protected than other cars.

    A truck–unless it’s actually being used for practical, manly, real trucking and hauling purposes–is the equivalent of getting one of those suburbanized versions of a Humvee. All pretense and excess, no action. No real sense of risk, either–they’re safe as safe can be. All image and no substance. Not *nearly* as sexy.

    I see a man in a Jeep, and I want to get in the Jeep and take off with him. I see a guy in a city or the suburbs driving a truck who isn’t a repair guy or something, and I immediately think, “Trying too hard.” And that’s the honest truth.

    I can’t imagine you could possibly look any hotter than you already do in your Jeep. So buying the truck would be a supreme waste of money and effort. You”re already better just as you are.

    There, did that help?

  5. Whirly, i too am tempted by the Titan, but it’s 10k more than the frontier. Which gets it back out of a sane price range.

    That might not stop me though. Who knows. I tried putting my GIANT kids in the back seat of the frontier though yesterday and I think the lack of leg room scratched it.

    Laura – damn, I would have bought your truck. Too bad.

    DN, Syl – motor madness will win or not. We shall see. I need BOTH my jeep and a truck. And a muscle car. And a sports car. And a tahoe or a suburban. And…

  6. I love my truck. I not-so-secretly long for big, much bigger truck. I like my vehicle to be bigger, taller, tougher, stronger, heavier than all the other silly little slow cars relentlessly in my way.

    But, you know, I got issues.


  7. My sentiments regarding trucks are similar to Miss Syl’s: trying too hard. Especially the stupid huge ones. All I can think is, “You’re not impressing anyone.” And then I have to supress the urge to key the vehicles. Or smash in the windows. Or puncture the tires. Or pour sugar in the gas tank.

    Because, you see, I HATE huge trucks. Hate them with the white-hot anger of a million super-novas. Feel the same about SUVs. All I can see is how they’re ruining our environment and roads and creating a greater dependence fuels that will run out sooner than later. I hate how so many people sit behind the wheels of these huge trucks and don’t have a clue about how to drive them, thereby ensuring that there are more accidents on the road because these small-minded people can’t handle the hugeness of their vehicles. But hey, they got their penis extensions, so who gives a flying shit?

    Ooh, look at that button that just got pushed. Jammed it in there pretty hard, I have to say.

    Then again, I’m a crunchy-granola-tree-hugging-neo-hippie chick who hasn’t had a car for almost four years (due to financial issues – I used to drive an ’89 Escort and a ’01 Saturn), so what d’ya expect? To my friends and family who have SUVs, I do tell them, even though I love them, I will always hate their vehicles. I have to admit, if such a truck is necessary for the performance of one’s job, I don’t have as much of a problem.

    In case you’re wondering, my dream car is a ’66-’68 convertible Mustang. Has been since high school. They’ve always aroused me. And my latest dream is to get one, cherry it out, and convert it to biodiesel. Well, look at that. Something’s just started tingling at the thought. I’ll let you guess what.

  8. FWIW- The Titan just one some duel against the toyota, F-150, RAM and Chevy.

    Bigger, faster, more comfy than the rest.

    OTOH, commuting is better in a dinky car or a bike.

  9. CE, you fuckin’ hippy!

    Admit it you have the auto-mo-lust too; you just need to tart it up in biodiesel. Every one of us has SOME sort of stupid car we lust for, at least one!

    Yeah, jjh, thing is, my commute is 3 miles, no freeway, and all summer (and a lot of the rest of the year) I commute on a motorcycle (i can never get organized enough to ride a bike; I’m always at work barely in time for everything and then staying late until I have to leave for something).

    My family car is a hybrid highlander (a damn fine pick I think, big enough to carry quite a few kids, without being in any way too large – plus, you know, hybrid; while it doesn’t do as well on gas as a prius, compared to, say, the non-hybrid version it does damn well. Hell of a lot better than the minivan we used to have, or any other SUV on the market).

    What I’m lookin’ for is a compromise for my alternate vehical that can 1) seat tall people in comfort 2) have some practical ability as a hauler (god, the jeep can be frustrating when I need to carry home something from the hardware store or when friends need help moving something), and 3) feels right. There’s no way I’d look at a Titan, for example, as an every-day commuter, but that’s not what I need; I have the luxury of living really close to work, and doing a commute on two wheels much of the year. What I drive now ain’t a great pick as a commuter either.

  10. I have no trouble admitting that I have a hard-on for those classic Mustangs. I’m talking serious, tingling lust. So when I found out that classic muscle cars are good for converting to biodiesel, my eyes nearly rolled up into my head. Satisfying both the auto-lust and the do-good-hippie sides of me? Bring it on, baby!

    My boyfriend commutes to work on his motorcycle. He only drives his car when he has to ferry his kids – or me – around. Unfortunately I’m not confident enough to ride with him on his Harley for more than a couple of miles. I am not a biker chick and the fact that I ride with him at all is amazing. So, of course, he wants me to go to Sturgis with him in August. Insert heavy sigh here.

  11. CE, you just keep giving me these images, like your eyes rolling back in your head, or your tingly nipples, that just distract the living fuck out of me. For this, I thank you.

    You know why biodiesel rules? Everywhere you go in a car so fueled, people think, mmm, doughnuts, or mmmm, french fries.

    It’s just one more way of spreading joy and lust.

  12. You’re very welcome, KE. I am happy to oblige.

    Spreading joy and lust, hmmm? I’ll have to get that biodiesel car soon, because any time I can spread joy and lust, life is good.

  13. The set of wheels sounds sweet, bub. Just make sure to save up the dough and pay cash. Don’t go into debt for it. Deep-six your debt, and you’ll win with the moolah.

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