I know what you’re expecting. A glorious story about how the old red truck and I tried to climb Mt Everest together, coming up just short, and the truck saying, “No…you go on ahead…I’ll stay behind.” Or maybe even a medium-speed car chase that ended with me sprinting away from the truck as a Lethal Weapon 3 style explosion happened in the background. Well…that would have been a fitting outcome, but what actually happened is far more anticlimactic.
Truth be told, the truck was having problems reaching high speeds these days. It also made a creaking sound when you got in it, got out of it, and while you were driving. (And when I say creaking, I mean a sound like the lake ice is cracking underneath your feet and you better make a run for it.) Sure, when it was warming up for the specified 9 minutes, sometimes the exhaust would pour out all sides of the back end so it looked like it was on fire.; but, that was just part of the charm. Just like when the windshield wipers would go off randomly and passengers thought you were a bit crazy, and the fact that you could only change CDs in extremely cold weather, or even the friend-sized dent it acquired during the filming of some sketch comedy. And, while some call a lack of a dome light lame, I call it a throwback to when cars didn’t have lights on the inside.
So, if you add up all of this “charm,” you can see why K was pushing for a new vehicle. We decided to spend the Saturday looking to see what was out there. The first stop resulted in nothing but the realization that cars are stupid expensive. The second stop at what I’m calling “The Jeep farm” worked out a little better. Better in the sense that the first vehicle we test-drove we ended up liking. We told the salesman that we’d be right back with the most beautiful Ford Ranger 4×4 extended cab he’d ever seen (maybe not the exact words we used) and returned home to clean out the truck. As we drove back to the dealership I think the truck knew something was up because it started running just a little bit better than it had been, as if to say, “Hey, I can still be your partner in crime!”
The dealership offered a measly $500 for my fine piece of machinery, so I called Dad and told him I’d give it to him for the same amount of money. Turns out, this was the exact leverage I needed because suddenly the dealership came back with a $1000 dollar offer. K didn’t hesitate and said, “We’ll take it.” I was a little more resistant to the idea because if Dad took, well…at least it was still in the family.But, as my dad always says…money talks…
Yes, the truck’s final adventure was more of a death march to the dealership…far less glorious that it deserved. We’d been through a lot over the last 11 years. 155,000 miles and countless memories…but I must say…I am excited to have a working CD player.