Mike Brown: My White Truck

Illustration: Ruckus Art

I had the same white truck for 14 years. I never named it or gave it a sexual orientation. That bugs me when people name their cars and say shit like, “This is Betty, isn’t she a beaut’?” It would make a whole lot more sense to me to give your car a girl name if you could actually have sex with it. I like to imagine that dudes who name their cars try to penetrate the gas tank when no one’s looking.

A few weeks ago I sold my truck to a guy named Dick Weed. I’m not sure how that’s gonna look on the bill of sale, but he was excited to buy it and I was excited to sell it. As Dick Weed and his girlfriend were driving away, a little piece of my heart cracked and I felt like I was selling my dog or my child into slavery.

I now know how Princess Leia felt when Darth Vader made her watch as he cryogenically froze Han Solo [Editor’s note: Han Solo was frozen in carbonite … there is a difference]. As my truck was rolling away, I yelled in my head, “I LOVE YOU!” and, like a bad ass, my truck gave me one last stone cold stare and just yelled back, “I KNOW.”

I didn’t think getting rid of my truck would expel such emotion, but we’d been together for over 14 years. So, granted, we have been through a lot. Fourteen years is a long time—if my truck was a human boy, it would have its first pubes and be masturbating excessively by now.

There are pros and cons to having a truck. If you have a small cab like mine had, then you have the advantage of rarely being the designated driver for the night. Unfortunately, at the end of every month, you do get at least one phone call from one of your dipshit friends who is getting evicted or moving. And you are the friend with the truck, so naturally that means you love helping people move furniture, right? Fuck no. I hate lifting shit.

The whole time I owned my truck I only crashed it twice and only had it impounded once and never got a DUI in it—or in cop slang, got slapped with a deuce. The impounding was for unpaid parking tickets. Growing up as a spoiled bastard in the lovely Holladay and Sandy suburbs molded me into a financially irresponsible derelict in my early twenties.

I treated my parking tickets like skateboarding tickets and credit card bills. Why should I pay these fucks? Oh yeah, because they’ll take your car away, that’s why. I try to learn from my mistakes. I don’t owe Salt Lake City Corporation a dime at the moment.

One crash came when I ran a red light on Valentine’s Day back in 1999 and T-boned what seemed to be a happy couple. My truck was totaled. I was completely fine, but watching an ambulance haul away two people because you are a dumbass is a pretty terrible feeling.

The next time I crashed, it was way more funny. I was at the Sugarhouse Post Office and had to grab a stamp. So I parked in the front of the lot and ran inside. You know when you’re in a parking lot somewhere and you see a car that looks just like your car and in your head you say, “Hey! That car looks just like my car!”

Well, that exact sentiment was going through my head as I noticed a truck backed into what looked to be all the drive-up mailboxes. Then my next thought was pretty simple: “Oh, shit!” Turns out the Sugarhouse Post Office is on a slant. It also turns out that one of the residual side effects of smoking massive amounts of marijuana, a schedule two drug, is forgetting to pull your parking brake.

Lucky for me, my truck rolled backwards, missing all the other cars and light posts and an elderly couple in a Cadillac trying to use the drive-up mailboxes. They looked petrified as my truck bumper caught the fence that wraps around the mailboxes, avoiding destroying federal property by a few inches. If my truck had been a few feet to the other side, it would have ghost ridden into 1100 East and may have given the Soup Kitchen an inadvertent drive-thru.

I’m glad that Dick Weed knows enough about cars to get that little white Toyota up and running again. I drove that thing into the ground and growing up mostly living with just my mom means that I don’t know shit about cars, tools and fixing things.

Illustration: Ruckus Art