The Outsider: Backbox blues
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | August 2 2018|
It’s a bit like when you were a kid and you put your mom or dad’s shoes on and stomped around the house in them. They sounded great and you thought you looked the best but your little feet just sloshed around inside the giant shoes and they were way too big. Eventually, after a couple of stumbles and the occasional stubbed toe you just had to admit that, despite their obvious classiness, the shoes were way too big for you.
That’s what I’m coming to terms with as I drive my new truck.
It’s not the biggest truck on the block. It hasn’t got a lift kit or anything fancy like ginormous wheels but it is a ‘heavy half’ – I think that’s the term – and it’s a bit too big for me.
Not engine wise. Oh no, I can handle the horsepower don’t you worry. The problem is its physical size. For example, when I wash it I like to towel my truck down with a chamois leather so that the water doesn’t streak. I know, I know but it’s new, give me a break. The thing is, I can’t reach the centre of the hood with my chamois, even standing on tippy toes. I have to scramble up onto a bumper to get that last bit and it kind of hurts my pride.
Same goes for leaning on the box to chat with a ‘good buddy’. A fellow for whom this truck is the right size would simply rest an arm on the back box and chat away. I, on the other hand, have to reach up to get purchase on the box and jump if I want more than my eyes and haircut to be noticed above the truck.
And sitting on the tailgate … the required action to sit on one’s tailgate should be the gentle hoisting of a buttock, a slight sideways movement of a thigh and the quick and easy coming to rest of bum on truck. A man should not have to take a running start, jump and twist mid-flight, hoping that his backside lands on the tailgate, rather than his hip hitting the military grade aluminum.
Finally, there’s getting in and out. In, I have down. I step up on the running board and swing myself into the driver’s seat. It’s a tad high, something in the vicinity of sitting on the roof of an average British car, and sometimes I get a little light-headed but I’m getting used to it. But ‘dismounting’ from my truck is altogether a different and more dangerous proposition. When I remember, the running board comes into use. When I forget, I open the door, swing my legs out and expect to feel dirt under my feet. It is only as my ass slips off the edge of the seat while my feet are still in midair that I realize that I should be harnessed to something before attempting to launch into space like this. If I’m lucky, I land with some dignity. If not, there’s a stumble at least and I have been known to end up sitting in a crumpled heap, my aforementioned dignity and backside well and truly having taken a bashing.
So, my new truck is definitely too big for me but I’ll get used to it because there’s a whole army of you guys out there with trucks just as big and legs just as short as mine. All I need is a little bit more training in Canadiana and I’ll grow into it in no time. Hopefully.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider