The Gross National Debt

Friday, February 24, 2012

Frydee Funnie


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Until I change my mind, or I come up with something I need to write and have 2 Friday blogs, I'm gonna make Fridays a humor stop. Give you something hopefully to be bit of a chuckle.


A TOUGH TRUCK

Wanted. A tough truck

Recently while shopping for some new wheels, I took to reading “reviews” of new trucks in outdoors magazines. These so-called “reviews” of the trucks are pretty much a joke. You could take a Cadillac and run them through the same kinds of tests and get similar results.

F’rinstance, take this excerpt: “The dual shock suspension provided a comfortable ride even on the roughest terrain we encountered.”

Yeah. Right. Golf courses are some really tough places to test drive an off road vehicle. I wanna know, how is the ride while sliding down a pond dam. Will I spill my coffee on the dash? How comfortable is the ride while chasing a bobcat through a just-harvested corn field at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night?

As far as the suspension goes, that’s pretty much irrelevant. Suspension doesn’t mean a hill of beans when the front end of the truck hits a rock and the axle falls off. Shock absorbers to are a bunch of nonsense. We’re talking about an off road vehicle. A shock absorber here is a well developed spinal column. If I wanted a smooth ride, I would never have left the highway.

Then, there is the classic “It handles well in tight turns.”

I wish a writer would tell me how easy it is to turn the thing upright after it flipped over after failing to complete a tight turn at 60 mph to avoid flying into a ravine slightly less deep than the Grand Canyon because the fool driver missed the correct turn in the first place. Can Hawgin'’, er, the fool driver, and I turn the truck back upright or are we going to need a wrecker and a half dozen more rednecks?

Power is another thing these writers seem to be hung up on. Heck, my lawnmower will pull many boats. What I want to know is: Can this truck haul another truck attached to a boat and trailer up the ramp and out of Little River at Red Roberts landing? I need enough power in a truck to do this ... at least I did last week.

The ability to go through “mud” is another hot topic. The writer hires the local fire department to hose down a side spot on a dirt road and the writer flies down the road and then reports the truck handles well “off road” and gets good traction. Oh puh-leeze. Tell me if I can cross the Alapaha River over in Irwin County. I really need to know that. Could I drive down the Ocmulgee River in 4x4 low? In case you doubt me, somewhere I have pictures of a truck I stuck so badly it took a semi wrecker to haul it free and that almost didn’t get it. Furthermore, the truck was stuck in my parents-in- law’s yard in Mississippi.

Gas mileage reports annoy me. I don’t care what kind of mileage I get on the highway. If I run out of gas there, I’m usually within walking distance of a gas station. I need to know how long a half a tank of gas will last if I’m on a mountain side stuck in the snow. How many times can I pull  Hawgin’s truck out of the mud before I need to refuel? What kind of mileage can I expect while chasing down the dogs? How long will it take me to refill the tank by siphoning gas from Hawgin’s truck while he’s still on a deer stand? Then, how hard is the thing to push out of the way if I run out of gas.

Big cow-catcher bumpers are really popular among the 4x4 city drivers. These bumpers are strategically designed to absorb the impact of, say, a pine cone falling from 30 feet and distribute the impact along the length of the bumper so instead of getting a wrinkled fender, the whole front end is crushed. I need a real bumper, something substantial like another entire truck strapped across the front end as a sacrificial vehicle. Having had more run-in than I care to think about with jumping trees, I need something that will be there when I need it, something I can use to run into brick walls, wild hogs, Damnocrats, or something equally unlovable without me or the truck getting hurt in the process.

I also want to know how tough the sides are. Will the door panels stay bent of they hit a tree while the truck slides down a hill in the middle of Stewart County? Is the hood sturdy enough to support some fat hunting buddy standing on the hood to listen for the dogs so we can go catch ‘em or is he going to leave a dent bigger than some western U.S. lakes?

The “0-to-60” test is not as popular with truck writers as it is with sports car writers, but it is just as important. I want a truck that will not only outrun the game warden, but will get me into the next county before he has time to read the license plate ... um, not that I ever have need to run fro m these fine stewards of the game laws. This is a “just in case” kind of thing.

I also wonder what these writers mean by roomy. Will it hold my tackle boxes (small children can live in my tackle boxes), rods and reels, at least 2 shotguns per family member and/or passenger, a .22 rifle and a deer rifle per family member/ and or passenger, a case of ammunition per gun, a tent, a canoe, the dogs, me, several coolers, camp stove, cameras, computer, first aid kit, second aid kit, a body bag in case the aid kits aren’t enough, the change of clothes I always want to pack but forget to take and still have enough room for Shari to spread a map across the dash to prevent me from seeing the road so she can explain just how lost I’ve gotten us now and that’s just on the trip to the campground? In fact, I need enough room to live in the thing for about two days without having to leave for any reason. That’s what I call roomy.

Furthermore is the tailgate one of the chomping variety with an appetite for Orvis flyrods, Benelli shotguns, fingers and $15 fishing lures or is it a normal tailgate that won’t chomp anything without at least giving a gentlemanly notice? I’m tired of buying cheap outdoors gear because I’m afraid the tailgate will reduce it to splinters. The vet has refused to reattach my bird dog’s tail again.

Yes, these are some tough questions, but I need answers to them. If any of the truck makers think they make a truck tough enough for the Ben Baker test, let me know. We’ll do the Okefenokee.

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