Last week I took my truck in for some service, because it's been making some weird noises lately, like Ashlee Simpson. Also, it's way out of alignment. So much so, that if I were to take my hands off the wheel at any point during my driving experience, the vehicle would immediately just start going around in circles, like a dog chasing its tail.
I pulled my usual routine with the guy at the service station, feigning partial knowledge of anything that has four wheels. He knew I was full of shit though when I started using terms like "squeaky" and "underneath the car - not the pavement, but you know what I mean." Anywho, he called me back with an estimate of $1400 for the work that needed to be done. Apparently, I needed all new shocks and ball joints and non-squeakified collateral lug nuts, and "those kinds of things don't come cheap." In addition to that, I found out that my spare tire has a hole in it. Not in the middle, though. There's supposed to be hole there (often covered by what the serviceman described as a "hub cap"). I'm talking about IN the actual tire, which means that my spare tire is basically just for show, even though you can't actually see it because it's underneath the car. Not on the pavement, but you know what I mean.
So since I don't have $1400, I immediately picked up my truck and drove it around in circles with my hands off the wheel, contemplating what to do. "Do I need a NEW car?" I thought to myself. Right then, it sounded like the truck squeaked, "yes," but it could have said, "gas," because it does that sometimes when it's running low. Anyway, I couldn't bear the thought. I've had this truck for five years now, and I feel such a strong connection to it. We've had so many great times together, like that time my future wife found out that I drove a pick-up truck and she had to climb into it wearing high heels. Ha ha! My truck and I laughed for days about that one. Or the time I put all of that garbage in the back of the truck and I drove it to the dumpster and threw it out. We still talk about that day whenever somebody says, "Look at all this trash! How the hell am I supposed to transfer this to the dumpster!?" When THAT happens, I just look over at my truck and wink, and say, "YOU know what to do!" And then it does nothing while I fill the back with trash. Good times.
A more important reason I'm not ready to part with my truck is because it's paid off. Not "paid off" in that somebody bribed it to screw me over (although sometimes I wonder) - paid off in that I no longer have to make monthly payments on it. It's like I drive it for free, except for gas, and insurance, and that time I was supposed to pay $1400 to get it fixed, but never did. Nevertheless, I just couldn't spend that much money to get a truck fixed that was built in 1997, the same year that the Backstreet Boys were dropping $1400 a night on boxed wine and Crispy Creams. I felt that I would be better off putting that money into a new car - a car with shocks. Whatever they do.
So I called my uncle, who happens to be a part-time mechanic and a full-time shop teacher at a local high school, to ask him his opinion on the matter. He told me that if I didn't mind, he could take the truck to school and have his students work on it. For free. I told him that I didn't care if cigarette-smoking chimpanzees worked on my truck, as long as I didn't have to pay for it. So it looks like there's still hope.
I'm not sure how things are going to turn out, but anything is better than the thought of having to part with my first and only pick-up truck. Maybe I'm just delaying the inevitable. Maybe not. I guess I'll know in a couple of weeks, when I get it back from those 15 year-old kids, who better not steal my Jay-Z tape.
If it's still chasing its tail, I'll know what to do.
Order more lug nuts.