My Truck

pickup-truck-800pxWhen my buddy Stan’s bathroom was built, plumbing was a new idea and now that his fixtures have come back into style, he has decided to demolish it.

We started by tearing out the old claw-foot bathtub.  

“Where are we going with it,” I asked as we lugged it down the steps.

“To your truck.”

I tried to protest.

“You must know someone who has a trash pit on their farm,” he said.

I did.

“Beats paying for a landfill,”  he said.

There isn’t much use arguing with Stan, So along with the bathtub, we tossed a toilet, a couple of iron towel racks and a shower stall into the bed of my truck. Later that afternoon, I got to throw them all into the pit.

I bought the pickup to haul things around – but now I regret it.  The irony is, for most of my life I got by hauling things around in small cars.

I started out with a VW.  That little bug could carry anything.

Every time Stan and I got kicked out an apartment (we liked to party) we piled all of our belongings on top of my VW and puttered across town to our new place.  We had it down to an art.

We first formed a base of box springs on the roof of the car. Next, we layered our mattresses over the springs and slid an upturned table on top of that. We cradled the couch between the table legs and secured it all with twine.  Once the pile stopped wobbling, we balanced the dressers and end tables any place that looked good.  It was a point of pride to make it all in one trip and we never once lost anything of value along the way.

After I got married, I bought a Honda Civic hatchback. We called it The Egg because it looked like an egg and wasn’t much bigger.

Regardless of its size, the genius of this vehicle was that Honda placed the wheel wells precisely 48.5” inches apart which meant the car willingly accepted 4′ X 8′ sheets of plywood or Sheetrock.  

It may have been almost impossible to squeeze my wife and two kids into it – but once you dropped the tailgate, you could load all the lumber, plywood and Sheetrock your heart desired  – at least until the bumper touched the ground.  At that point, you usually left a couple of sheets on the curb to keep the sparks from flying.

I remodeled an old farmhouse and built a cabin in my woods using that little car – but then I went and bought a pickup truck… 

Allow me to insert a little wisdom here: “Demand will always exceed capacity”

Let’s say you go out and buy a new refrigerator because the old one is too small. Within a week, you will find the new one holds less than the old one.   It is no different when you get a pay raise.  By the end of the month, you will have more bills than pay. 

We rarely anticipate the obvious.  We move out of tiny starter homes into a suburban mini-mansions then act surprised when our three car garage fails hold a single car – and things we never knew we had flow out of our basement and flood into the guest room.

Why is this?

Blame it on normal.

Since the dawn of time, it has been normal to never have enough.  So every time we got more of something, normal simply adjusted itself to our new circumstances. Normal is constantly shifting in a never ending quest to keep us wanting more – because (duh) that’s normal.

So me owning a truck simply meant that I had more stuff to lug around – and to prove the point, after I came home from the farm pit, my wife told me she needed the truck.

I handed her the keys and she sped off trailing a cloud of dust. About an hour later, the dust cloud returned.

“Help me unload the truck” she said and there in the bed of my pickup truck was an old claw-foot bathtub, a toilet and a couple of iron towel racks.

“What the?”

“I spotted them in the farm pit and got a little help loading,” she said, “won’t they look great in the garden filled with flowers?  So if you could just haul them over there…”

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

49 thoughts on “My Truck”

  1. I own the sole mini-SUV model which cannot take any decent bike rack (thanks to the side-swing back door and its spare tire mount) and also cannot take even a half-sheet of plywood: A 4′ x 4′. Arghh!! What GOOD is it? OTH, it is similar to Mary Poppins carpetbag or the top of your VW bug, in that I’ve fit a full-length glass dining room table and all six teak chairs. So I get that point of pride thing.

    Enjoyed your surprise. While I knew the appliances wouldn’t remain in the pit, I didn’t see them winding up at your place, or resurrected by your wife. Funny twist!
    🙂

  2. Nice story, I miss owning a pick up truck myself. I DON’T MISS being called by every freaking friend and relative I ever had to drop everything and meet them at Lowe’s or some furniture store to help them haul something back to their house!

  3. I feel like we are kindred spirits or at least our family and your family are pretty darn similar. We live on a farm in the middle of Charlotte, NC. It’s the house my husband grew up in. I had a VW bug and did just fine for years.Now I’m a minivan girl and can’t imagine going smaller. My husband is a truck man. Actually a big red dually truck for hauling our big trailer that he uses for all sorts of hauling and moving. Right now it’s full of furniture we are giving to our oldest daughter and her husband awaiting the house closing. Yay. I got new furniture and they got the old stuff. We bring in stuff and shift out stuff. We spend way too much time arranging and sorting our stuff. And he gets called often to help others with his big red truck. Love your story. Love ya’lls life. That’s a little southernism for you. Lisa

  4. First of all, you should always check with your wife if she had needs for any of the stuff (prior) – years of marriage should have taught you that?

    I would put my ‘claw’ foot down at the toilet in the garden. My buddy lived on the corner of our cul-de-sac next to the main road that everyone (and I mean everyone) traveled down… the stepmom became irritated with her husband for not upgrading the toilet. So she had a plumber install a new one, and placed the old one outside, next to the house that faced the main road. After church, everyone drove by and saw it… my friend finally yelled at his stepmom to do “something” with it… thinking she’d move it… she put a flower pot in it. It sat there for years.

    It was embarrassing to the whole neighborhood. It became a land marker… Yeah, turn down the street when you see the toilet.

  5. Oh lord, the circle of life. Or things. Or whatever. Your post gave me a much-needed chuckle :).

    I’m most happy to dump stuff off at a recycle place or have someone pick them up. This year my resolution is not to buy anything new unless it means I’m getting rid of something old.

  6. My takeaway on this is a sudden yearning for a plantable claw tooth bathtub in my backyard. Please truck the next one you find out to California. My husband will help get it out and through the gate. Don’t worry, I’ll make a lovely dinner for your trouble.

  7. Melanie is several years younger than me. She is good about not accumulating stuff and getting rid of unused stuff. When she starts talking about removing from her life the old and useless things, I get a little nervous.

    Your description of the fully loaded car, it made me think of these. http://bit.ly/1Y9aYAn

    1. Jim, those photos are hilarious and pretty much show what my VW looked like.

      BTW, my wife makes subtle veiled threats about tossing me into the dumpster too. She says things like, “I am going to toss you into the dumpster.”

        1. “cognitive”

          Huh?………

          Oh yeah, cognitive…. I think that’s what happened when Stan and I split a case of Bud Light and a fifth of Jamesons. We quickly resolve to avoid that higher order of thinking in the future.

  8. Loved that ending. I was enjoying your story but bemoaning the fate of those lovely old pieces. Glad you have a garden big enough to accommodate them. Should I call you or your wife when we remodel?

  9. Oh, my gosh, I am laughing out loud at that surprise ending. What’s another man’s junk is a woman’s treasure.

    We have talked about getting a pick-up. But I guess we’ll keep borrowing one, just like Stan sort of does from you.

  10. Love that ending – and everything you say about space is true. I had a truck for about 15 years. I was tempted to get the bumper sticker that says “No! I will not help you move” then I switched to an SUV and a small utility trailer. The trailer works because most people never see it.

    1. I bought a new small utility trailer for $700. It was the best buy I ever made, I haul everything with it, especially the things I don’t want in the truck – like rocks for building dry-walls.

  11. Loved this! And you are so right, the more stuff we have, the more stuff we want…and some of it comes back even after we’ve gotten rid of it. Hope the tub looks good in your garden!

    1. I keep throwing things away and she keeps digging things out of the trash… Except for my favorite clothes, she keeps throwing them away and I keep digging them out of the trash.

  12. Ha, ha, love this! Also – the old claw-foot bath that was in our house when we moved in, is now in my friend’s garden filled with flowers. Luckily we didn’t have to move it ourselves though!

    1. I should have added that the placement of the bathtub went like this:

      HER: Don’t put it there, put it there.
      ME: Where?
      HER: There.
      ME: That is in the middle of the lawn.
      HER: Not for long. You are going to put a new garden in there. Have you fixed the rototiller?

  13. Thank goodness. When I heard about that tub and towel racks going into the pit, I nearly cried. I probably wouldn’t have used them for flowers myself, but i sure as heck would have sold them for Restoration Hardware prices.

    There’s another rule of life, of course. Down here, we say “What goes around, comes around.” You just proved it again.

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