I am a lifelong Texan.
Born in San Antonio, raised in Houston and attending college right here in Fort Worth, I have great respect for the customs of the Lone Star State.
However, there is one de facto Texas tradition that needs to go the way of the dodo: ridiculously large pickup trucks not being used for their designated purpose.
Pickup trucks are designed for hauling things. It’s perfectly acceptable to have one if you are a rancher, construction worker or someone trafficking large amounts of illegal fireworks from Guatemala who gets through border patrol by hiding them inside teddy bears.
It’s not like I sell high-potency firecrackers or anything, but if I did, I would be outside of Red Cactus at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. The secret word is “Rico Suave.”
Getting back to the topic at hand, Ford F-4000s with large naked lady mud flaps are meant to be hauling firewood across a large swath of rough terrain, not cruising the mean streets of Highland Park. It’s not like all that extra space in the truck bed is necessary, anyway. Mom’s groceries can easily fit in the back of the extended cab, but try not to spill the milk on the console of the DVD entertainment system!
If they’re not using them for work, maybe the operators of these monoliths are driving them for the scare factor.
The desired result is something like this: “Look at my truck! It is so huge! It could crush yours! Therefore, I am awesome and better and you! Cower in fear of my Dodge Super Mega ‘Roid Rage Ram! Pay attention to me because my parents don’t!”
Yes, I will admit that I am scared of the people who drive so-called “look-at-my-trucks,” but not for the reason they want. I am scared for the mental state of anyone who is willing to shell out the cash for gas for a truck that gets 2.3 miles per gallon on the highway.
Seriously, check the Internet. Ford doesn’t even list the miles per gallon that the ’09 edition of its Super Duty line of trucks gets. Next to the MPG rating is the always comforting “N/A,” short for not applicable.
Hmmm, curious. My only guess is this truck runs on the busted eardrums of those anywhere in a 12-mile radius when its V158 engine starts up. Therefore, it requires no gas and is the best truck ever. Or maybe it has a gross vehicle weight of more than 8,500 pounds, thus exempting it from the EPA’s MPG tests.
Also, why is it that these large trucks are often outfitted with about 17 Confederate flags? I learned about the Civil War one time in eighth grade, and I’m pretty sure pickup trucks weren’t there. It’s about 140 years too late to save General Lee.
Even if somebody could somehow swing into the Battle of Gettysburg with his or her gigantic motor vehicle in hopes of saving the Confederacy, I’m sure both armies would put aside their hostilities for a while to fight off the invasion of the metal wagons of death from the future.
So, let’s recap. Big trucks are meant for hauling things and doing work. They are not meant for Taco Bell trips, intimidation of small children or commentary on the political situation of 1860s America.
There are cheaper, more fuel efficient alternatives out there that are a lot less obnoxious and make you look like much less of a idiot.
David Hall is a junior news-editorial journalism and history major from Kingwood.