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Pickup lines

A colleague from a different department at the university bought a new car: a two-door BMW 3 Series convertible in arrest-me red. She mentioned this during a lull in a meeting we were at, so after the meeting, I asked her to show me the car, which she was all too happy to do. The first thing she showed off was the sound system, which was amazing: loud and clear sound. Then she showed how the hard top retracted, folding its three pieces into a single stack that retracts into the back of the car.

When she was done, I was walking across the parking lot, and she said, “Which one is yours?” I pointed and replied, “The pickup truck.” She laughed—a good-natured laugh, not a mocking one. I was cool with it. The truck fits my personality.


I thought of how much work it would be to keep her car gleaming red. On the other hand, I have not washed my truck since sometime in 2010. Rain pretty much washes away any dirt. I thought of how much care it’s going to take to maintain her car’s beautiful black leather interior. As for me, a couple of times a year, I’ll run a vacuum cleaner over my truck’s cloth interior. I’ll brush the seats to clean up any stray dog hairs, run the vacuum over the floor mats, and wipe the coat of dust from the dash. When I get a cup of coffee or a couple of bagels at the Tim Hortons drive through, I just wad up the bagel wrappers, crumple the cups and toss them into the back seat (I have an extended truck cab). When I get around to it, I clean the trash up.

None of that is written from envy because I don’t have a BMW convertible. Quite the contrary. But I’ll leave it at that. The larger point is that once you drive a pickup truck, you’re never going to drive anything else. When I need a yard of mulch for the landscaping, I drive to a place near my house, where they use a front-end loader and scoop the mulch into the truck bed. I’ll toss my bicycle into the bed when I want to ride and not start at my house. And every couple of weeks, I’ll toss bags of trash or recyclables into the back and haul them to the dump. The truck is versatile and useful. For snowy, slippery roads, I have four-wheel drive, which provides sure, steady traction.

My colleague tells me how she likes to drive through town with the car’s top down, blasting classical music from her car’s astonishing, and astonishingly loud, sound system. What an ironic gesture, given that typically, the sound from other cars is bass-heavy rock, or hip-hop, or rap. And she said the police stopped her eight times the first week she had the car but did not write a ticket once. That left her a little miffed and a little amused at the same time. She’s going to have a lot of fun with her new car.

I thought of all this as I walked toward my truck. It has about 99,000 miles on it; occasionally, I’ll put new tires on it, have brake work done, or replace parts of the exhaust system—routine maintenance. My goal is to get 200,000 miles from it, and given the condition of the truck, this seems reasonable.

Sad to say, though, I’ll probably have to wash it two or three times before I get there.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
sahlah
Mar. 4th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
I'll probably have to wash it two or three times before I get there.

That's some rash thinking. Cheers to versatile cars - mine's a 99 V70 AWD with 104,500 miles and counting. It's worth about $2500 now, been paid for for ages. No longer care if it gets dinged in a parking lot, perfect for my son to learn his driving skills. Open the back hatch, toss in the camping things and off we go.

patrick_vecchio
Mar. 4th, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
Every so often, my wife says I should buy a new truck. My answer always is, "Why? I like this one."

I'm thinking the V70 is probably built like a brick when it comes to safety features.
penshark
Mar. 4th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Speaking as one who had to give up her beloved gangster car at 105,000 miles, I hope you make the 200,000-mile goal for the truck. I'd love to see you and the truck on a commercial talking about how good their trucks are.
patrick_vecchio
Mar. 4th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
I think 105,000 miles was pretty darned good, considering the car was a Chrysler product.
anita_margarita
Mar. 4th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
I have a pickup and love it for all the reasons you listed.
patrick_vecchio
Mar. 4th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
I think there's something inherently contradictory about having a pickup truck that's so clean it looks like it's been waxed.
nodressrehersal
Mar. 4th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
There's so much more to this than simply an, "I drive a truck" post - love it.

My Mazda Tribute has 122,500 miles on it and I'm hoping it will last another year without needing a lot of $$ put into it. Then kiddo will update his and I'll get the hand-me-down Santa Fe and the Tribute will get traded in.

I'm like you - vacuum out the inside when it gets bad enough to bother, rarely wash the outside since rainwater works just fine. But the differentiating point is the garbage toss - can't do it, at least not for longer than a day if I've got an apple core or a wrapper of some sort riding around with me.
patrick_vecchio
Mar. 4th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
I've leave an apple core or banana peel in the back of the truck (in a little wastebasket) until the scent fills the cab, then I'll get rid of it. A little apple or banana scent is pleasant.
inkling7
Mar. 6th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't have a truck, but I appreciated this post. Especially the title.
patrick_vecchio
Mar. 6th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
Sara, you're just going to have to get a truck, then. Give me a holler when you do, and I'll buy you my favorite bumper sticker so you can irritate the drivers behind you:

"Jesus Loves You. Everyone Else Thinks You're An Asshole."

inkling7
Mar. 7th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
That bumper sticker might be enough incentive to get a truck. It's that fantastic.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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