Monday, November 9, 2009

"Just Stuff"

A few days ago, I came out of the office to find that my diesel F250 Lariat had been stolen right off the company lot. Never having experienced a theft of that magnitude, my first reaction was shock, then I thought perhaps I had just forgotten where I parked. Those who know me might find that funny, since I am such a routine person. I almost always park in the same place.

The rest of the day was a flurry of filing reports with the police, corporate security, and my insurance company. All in all not a fun Friday.

I hated the thought of going through the process of shopping for another truck. Some guys love it, but not me. I had wanted this F250 for a long time, and I had planned to keep it for a lot longer. It was paid for, and the thought of sinking money into another vehicle is quite unpleasant.

I was irritated and inconvenienced. But not irate. I have full coverage on the truck, so I knew I would be somewhat protected. After all, as a friend pointed out, it is just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. At least I still had my health and my family, etc.

Just stuff...quite true, in one sense. In another, a truck holds a bit of a spiritual connection to a guy. Let me explain to my Dos Equis chromosomed friends...

To a guy a truck is more than a mode of transportation. If all we did was put gas in it, then maybe we would feel like some of you ladies do about your cars; merely a conveyance from point A to point B.

But we have invested in our tucks. We can tell you the engine displacement, horsepower, torque, and towing capacity of our trucks. We can tell you the tire size and type have, and how a 5 inch downpipe will increase performance like Viagra for a billy goat.

What size bed does it have? Sure, we know. And we can tell you if object A will fit in pickup B without measuring. Yes we will help you move, but no you can't borrow it.

We have gotten them stuck in the mud down at the coast, slipped off 4WD trails in the mountains, and slept in them.

Lift kits? yeah, we got em. BFG's? Heck yeah. Mud is a badge of honor, and if we wash the truck, it is because we are taking you out. We don't do that for just anyone.

Flowmasters, MBRP, Bully dog performance chips, you name it, we have read about it, talked about it, dreamt about it, or installed it.

Each truck is an individual as it's owner. Scratches in the paint and dents just tell a richer story. We can tell you where we got each one.

My truck had some dents. There are the dings in the tailgate received when a trailer I was towing jumped off the hitch when we were trucking up the interstate. The trailer had kayaks on it and the nose of one of the yaks banged the bumper and tailgate as I slowed the renegade trailer that was now hanging by its tow chains to the shoulder. We fixed the problem, and headed north. I will never forget seeing the panic in the eyes of my 3 friends as that trailer whipped back and forth. But I wasn't worried. I somehow knew my truck was strong enough to handle the situation. And it was.

That truck, driven by my daughter, carried my bride and me away from the church on our wedding day.

It moved my daughter and her roommate away to college with all their things in the bed. It moved her home after graduation...this time with only my daughter's belongings, which took up all of the room in the in the bed, plus an additional 12 foot trailer.

It took my dog Bandit on his last ride on this earth.

My dog Trey recognized the sound of the engine from a block away.

My granddaughter knew "papa's big truck" was the safest place to ride, and had the best vantage point for spotting tractors and "baby cows".

It took us on several trips to Colorado, the Texas coast, and once to Tennessee for Tammy to meet my parents before we married. Itwas the lynch-pin for countless hunting and fishing excursions.

So yeah...a truck is just stuff to a guy. The stuff of life. Milestones and memories. A good truck can no more be replaced than a good friend or dog can. You can get another, but it won't replace what has been lost. So I won't try.


Lumberjack said...

Amen Mark! Losing your truck is like losing your left arm. And to make it worse, you lost yours to thieves. It's almost as bad as some dude kidnapping your wife!

tdillow said...

I'm still amazed every time I read one of your stories....just how you capture me each time. We'll just have to build more memories, and I can't wait to build them w/you!

momma p said...

Another great story, Mark. :)

Drew said...

I think this extends to any vehicle that is the apple of your eye, whether truck or not. For me, my G35 is the first brand new car that I've ever owned and I waited and researched and read about it for over a year before I got it. I feel for you, my brother - it's not "just stuff", it's a part of who you are because of what it means to you and to have someone else take that part away without your permission, well...that just ain't right.

Hopefully, your next ride will be as powerful of a memory maker as "Big 'Ol Whitey" was. Not a replacement, just different. :)