Trucks civilization's bedrock

By Terry Fries

Trucks actually do belong on farms.

A recent Castanet columnist, a self-admitted BMW driver, said so and I’ll agree to that much.

But the writer also suggests that pickup trucks belong “only” on farms. OK, the writer was being satirical, but let’s not let that stop us for the purposes of this column.

Let’s pull out the old credibility measuring tape and see where this statement falls.

A person who chooses his vehicles (the BMW) based purely on the pleasure principle — somebody who is willing to use up our limited petroleum resources and churn carbon out into the atmosphere for the sheer joy of it, strikes me as somebody who comes up short on the believability index.

His Sunday drive, even though it might cake millions of acres of Nigerian delta land in a toxic, petroleum rainbow veneer, is justified as long as he can get his German-engineered prostate massage from the vibrations in the seat as he cruises the highway.

At least a truck has purpose; a reason for having been blinked into this universe in the first place.

Yes, I have a pickup truck. A bright, red one, no less, with a shiny steel front rail for deflecting moose, or BMWs. At least that’s what I assume never having hit either.

I don’t have a farm, but my pickup is a critical part of my business life, carting materials back and forth between home and work, or out to the landfill, or for getting into the back country with my packs and other equipment.

Sure, I’d love to have a Smart car, or some other Miniature Poodle-type car, for jumping about the Okanagan . I’d love to be as efficiently environmentally friendly as I can, but I can’t afford to keep two vehicles. Who can?

Oh, yeah, Mr. BMW can. He probably has a hobby pickup truck he keeps on his hobby farm, next to his hobby 1960 Corvette convertible and his hobby dog named Atticus.

But a pickup truck, that’s real life, real world stuff — like Tevye’s milk cart in Fiddler on the Roof, which he has to pull himself after his horse goes lame.

The pickup truck is about earning a living. It is the chariot upon which roosts our very civilization.

I have to admit that ornamental vehicles appeal to me, too. If money were no object, who wouldn’t want a road-hugging, ego boosting new whip to drive and accessorize with the new sunglasses?

All the while, though, I’d feel guilty about the fact that my little homage to superior engineering is causing untold suffering overseas for no good reason except that I like the person I become when riding in it. 

Terry Fries is co-owner of Barn Owl Gifts in Summerland.

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