Monster Trucks

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A friend of mine in construction was complaining that the price of pick-up trucks had escalated beyond the reach of ordinary working men because they had become the playthings of accountants and computer programmers. It is certainly true that you see these monster trucks – half tons are the junior model, one-tons with crew cabs are the favorites of these rugged suburban he-men – all over our cities, trying in vain to wriggle past the Tim Horton’s drive-through or sprawled across three parking spaces in Walmart lots. And you know that they never carry anything more than a few groceries or a couple of boxes from Ikea in the back.

What’s most amusing is watching them drive down narrow urban streets. They generally – and this is true of both pick-ups and oversize SUVs – drive down the middle of the street, leaving a good four or five foot space from the cars parked at the side of the road. If you don’t know how to gauge the width of your vehicle, is it possible that you shouldn’t be driving it?

The ads for these monstrosities are perhaps the worst of all. The other day I saw one where a guy was driving his bright blue pick-up down a country road. The road was clearly marked as dangerous and a dead end but the driver, grinning like the Joker from Batman, just kept driving. Eventually he ran out of road but kept going over the open prairie, sending up great gouts of earth and dust.

Great. It’s not bad enough that you are spewing vast amounts of carbon and other pollutants into the atmosphere, you have to go out of your way to destroy delicate ecosystems that will take a decade to recover from your stupidity – if it ever does. The best is when they try to climb up mountains with them. I wonder how many trucks – and their happy warrior drivers – are sitting at the bottom of ravines because of those ads.

Guys (or gals) who drive black trucks almost always seem to be the worst. Simultaneously unskilled and aggressive they seem to be possessed by demons once they get behind the wheel.

The cult of the big vehicles is heavily worshipped throughout America – and has even been known to spread to England and Europe. Fortunately governments there, facing endless urban congestion, have often seen fit to ban them from city cores. I doubt if that will ever happen here – there are too many urban cowboys for that to occur.

I, of course, don’t own a car let alone a giant truck but when I go to rent a vehicle I am almost always offered an upgrade to, at the very least, an SUV. You can imagine the puzzled looks I get when I insist on taking the modest car I ordered. Who wouldn’t want to intimidate their fellow drivers with their massive ‘compensation’ cars? Not me – I’d rather have something I can park.

And that’s ten minutes.

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