The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Trucks: Pickup and Wannabe.

Web posted on July 14, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

This is another instalment in my ongoing series about our roads and the people who use them. A long time ago, pickup trucks were honourable hard working vehicles. They were used in farming, construction, landscaping, the trades and by anyone who needed to do some serious work. They proudly wore the company or farm name. Back in the day, almost all pickup trucks put in an honest day's work. Today there are many pickups on the road that have never been used for work.

There are things out there that resemble pickups, in some cases barely. They have no visible means of support. There are no company names on the side. There are no tools of the trade in the back. Instead they are all tricked out with every possible option, and gadget including extended cabs (crew cabs or whatever other marketing name they use). I call these things Urban Redneck Vehicles, or URVs. The owners are posers and wannabes. No real self respecting redneck would be caught driving one of these things. They actually use their pickups for the intended purpose. Real rednecks have better things to do than spend hours washing and polishing their trucks. And most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, real rednecks are infinitely smarter and wiser.

Some of the small URVs with extended cabs have less space in the back than many cars in their trunks and look absolutely ridiculous. What's the point? Then you see the extra large ones with beds so clean you could perform surgery. They even have covers to keep them clean. I suspect the real reason is that they don't want anyone to know that they have never had anything in the back. I wonder what these owners are compensating for? Based on what I have seen on the roads, URVs do not carry cargo under any circumstances. Even groceries are put in the back seat. There are several URVs in the neighbourhood that to the best of my knowledge have never had anything in the back.

Look at what some of these things are referred to. What exactly does 4X4 stand for anyway? Does it mean 16? That's what you get when you multiply four times four. Does it mean 4unknown4? The letter X means unknown in math. Then there is AWD. Am I supposed to be awed by your vehicle? If so it's spelled wrong. At least the manufactures are getting the names right. One is proud to have at least one hundred fifty failures. Another is bragging they are second best. The last time I checked gold was for first place. Yet another refers to them as Repugnant Abysmal Machines.

URVs are owned by people who could not colour between the lines in kindergarten, and can't stay between the lines in a parking lot today. They shouldn't be allowed to play with toy trucks in a sandbox let alone drive one of these things. It was rather amusing but painful to watch one of these characters two winters ago with a snowplow on the front of a two wheel drive truck trying to clean a parking lot with nothing in the cargo bed. I am guessing that he traded at least 75 IQ points for the truck. Now that I think about it, most URV owners with snowplows don't have a clue how to clean a parking lot. Many don't even know how to clean the snow off their vehicle. Sorry, no disrespect to the real professionals who know what they are doing. Maybe there should be some sort of snowplow licence with a competency test.

Let's not forget that most of these things get hideous gas mileage, but then again for these people the environment is the last thing on their minds. The bigger the flashier the better.

Once again the weak minded have been taken in by the marketing departments of the manufactures and their advertising agencies. Look at all the product placement on TV and in the movies. A long time ago, it was cigarettes. We were led to believe that cool people smoked. Today we are led to believe that cool people drive Urban Redneck Vehicles. How long will it be before we start treating URV drivers with the same kindness and compassion that we treat smokers?

Then we come to the off road types. These are the pickups that have been modified for off road play. You have seen them with the funky tires and the special suspension that raises the body to the point where they need a step ladder to get in the cab. There are enough lights on top of the cab to light up a movie set. There is probably several hundred pounds of mud sticking to the truck. I wonder if they are ever driven over dry ground? I suppose that mud is the closest thing to the primordial ooze that they trying to get back to. For lack of a better term, I am going to call them "mudders." I will leave the bad one liners and puns up to your imagination. If they would only keep their trucks off the roads, the rest of us would be quite happy.

Bastille Day (as it's referred to in English speaking countries) is coming up on Thursday. In France it is known as La Fete Nationale or Le quatorze juillet. It is celebrated in many countries from India to the United States where many cities mark the event. There are even small celebrations in Toronto and Vancouver. I couldn't find any organized celebrations in Quebec....hmmmm. If you decide to celebrate don't lose your head.
Editor's Note - published before the Bastille Day's events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families


Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at news@thefountainpen.com

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.


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