Remember when about the only people who owned crew cab pickup trucks were railroad and oil field crews? If someone offered to give you one of those it would have been a really bad investment. Now the average - must have - three-quarter-ton, four-door pickup, after getting its lift kit, and giant tire makeover, spends most of its spare time in the detail shop getting a perm. It may seem hard to believe, but it used to be that when ranchers needed to take the family to town they did it in a car and no one seemed to question their manhood. The odd thing now is that there seems to be a disproportionate number of young men and grandpas without families or crews driving them around. I asked a dealer once why people were buying four-door pickups. His answer: "because they love them." I am guessing the depth of this salesman's love was equally strong.Maybe soon there will be four-door semi tractors. Besides going to Costco and skiing, you could haul a refer load of something down to L.A. and make some money! And if you hit someone head on it would be all over for him or her, but not you. You could have video games for the kids in the back to keep them occupied until the cop lets you go - high fives!!!
Remember when people who had pickups used them for hauling stuff and it was ok to have an old beater half-ton six-cylinder Chevy just for that? Remember in the '70s after the oil embargo when construction workers managed to get by somehow with little four-cylinder pickups? Or how about Rocky Mountain ranchers who somehow managed to get around the ranch on four-wheel drive gumbo dirt roads with stock width tires and no lift kit! Now the only thing that will possibly do for the average dude is a jacked up three-quarter ton monster that can burn rubber in all four gears towing a 30-foot travel trailer.
How about SUVs? Remember Broncos and Scouts? The only guys who had those when they first came out were hunters who needed them so they could actually drive off road to load a bloody big game carcass in the back? Maybe if there were Costcos back then moms would have used them for that adventure.
One other thing, remember when only misfits with tattoos had motorcycles without mufflers? Now no motorcyclist worthy of the name would be caught dead with a bike with mufflers. Even the guys with the big Honda touring bikes that used to be ultra quiet for the luxury ride are proudly chopping off their mufflers! The police never pull anyone over for that!!!! In case you were wondering, the reason for extra decibels is because we are all safer now that they are loud enough to break glass in urban canyons. You can hear them on top of South Sister when the tough guy insurance salesmen are out terrorizing Century Drive. I am sure if Harleys were around in 1791, this inalienable right would have been written in to the second amendment.
About all I can figure is there must be some correlation between all this and the recent outbreak of Erectile Dysfunction. Maybe it is part of a national campaign to boost Middle Eastern economies so they can get back on their feet so we can bring our troops home? Maybe it is an effort to prove that global warming is a total sham and we can prove it by driving vehicles that get ten miles a gallon? Maybe it is some sort of pathetic attention deficit disorder. No one will notice you unless you have some huge vehicle with get-out-of-my-way styling and four thousand dollars worth of tires and wheels. Or maybe we are so mindlessly trendy we do what everyone else is doing without giving it much thought at all. They will like us if we are just like them.
On a more positive note, sparrows really appreciate the giant open grills of the new trucks as they make excellent bug buffets.
- Tom Pontolillo