Glenn K. Beaton: Psychosexual dysfunction and pickup trucks
The Aspen Beat
“I love my truck, she’s right outside
I ain’t got much love, but I sure got a ride”
— Glen Campbell
Driving along the street the other day, I coasted toward a red stoplight half a block away. A pickup truck loomed large in my rearview mirror.
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It closed to within a millimeter of my back bumper. I couldn’t see the driver in my mirror because he was about 11 feet off the ground. I saw only the grill of his Ford F350.
Or it might have been a Chevy Monstrosity or a Toyota Enormity or a Nissan Malignancy. It could have been a Dodge Rammer because I think I saw horns on that shiny grill, but those might have been the real thing and not a logo.
He swerved wildly to the other lane, gunned past me, honked his horn and flipped his bird. He swung back into my lane in front of me and accelerated right up to the stop light, where he screeched to a halt.
In due course, I eased up behind him at the stoplight. But I have to admit, he had me beat by 17 feet. Given the size of his vehicle, it could have been 23 feet.
What makes a person want a pickup truck?
Car manufacturers like them because they make a killing, since they’re priced like a car and built like a jalopy. Ford announced recently that they’re practically getting out of the car business in order to focus on this steel and glass junk where they make a large majority of their profits.
By purchasing this product that costs little to make and a lot to buy, you can help them.
Look at it this way; you get the best of all worlds. You get the road handling of a truck together with the gas mileage of, well, a truck. And the comfort of — guess what? — a truck. What’s not to like?
OK, it’s not exactly a Porsche. But maybe it is, in a way. A Porsche is for guys with a certain, let’s just say, compensatory need. All that acceleration in their car is to make up for a certain sluggishness elsewhere. There’s a reason for the correlation between Porsche sales and Viagra prescriptions.
“That thing got a hemi?” That’s what one pickup driver asks another in a pickup advertisement. With the eloquence of pickup drivers everywhere, the other driver answers, “Yep.”
From that tête-à-tête, we’re to gather that the driver is fully equipped with a big turgid hemi. I guess you know what that is, if you’re the kind of guy who needs to get one at a car dealership from a salesman in a plaid jacket who sells a 4,000-pound vehicle with a trunk shaped like a hot tub.
But there’s more.
Insofar as I can tell, this need for a big truck to compensate for other, um, shortcomings, is the only reason for the existence of pickup trucks. When’s the last time you saw anything in the back of a pickup besides unscratched paint?
Now, let’s be clear. My psychoanalysis excludes tradesmen like your plumber and electrician. Those guys need pickups to carry their tools, not to compensate for their tool. And I’m excluding my friends and family who own pickups, because those pickups might need to be borrowed once in a while.
All the rest are psychos.
I will say this in defense of pickups. They do serve to warn everyone that the driver is a weirdo. In that respect, they’re similar to baseball caps worn backward — as IQ reducers — which I’ve always liked because they warn everyone that the wearer is indeed suffering from a reduction in his IQ. And it wasn’t very high to begin with.
If you ever see a pickup truck driven by a guy wearing a backward baseball cap, call 911 immediately to report the impending accident.
I wonder what Sigmund Freud would have thought about pickup trucks. Pickup truck owners who get this column read to them might contend that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and that’s so, but a pickup truck is never just a vehicle. It’s so much less.
“I’m gettin’ married to my pickup truck,
It doesn’t leave me when I’m down on my luck.”
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