Fat city Friday

Nearly three decades old, covered with maple boogers, leaves and acid rain ... and it still runs.

Nearly three decades old, covered with maple boogers, leaves and acid rain ... and it still runs.

Wow. Color me amazed. I hear that the temps are dipping down to 19 tonight and I think, “Hm, probably be smart to run the ’83 Toyota in for a quick check of its vital bodily fluids,” since it mostly lives out its miserable life snoozing beside the curb in front of Chez Dog.

The problem with my little scheme will be starting the old girl, which lately is about as easy as doing the people’s business in Congress. So I break out the portable jump-start system and give ’er a whirl.

Nothing. Zip. Nada. Niente. I could’ve brought a six-pack of monsters to life with the juice I poured into this thing and sent them all to Washington, D.C., to kick ass. Lord, this battery is truly fucked. And it’s not brand new, but neither is it particularly old. Out it comes.

I drag the misbegotten sonofabitch over to Advance Auto Parts on Nevada, from whence it came, fully expecting to have to buy a new one. The place is a madhouse. A businesslike young dude tells me the battery seems OK, if a bit undercharged, and says he’ll pop it into his charger and give it another look-see in about a half hour.

So I go home and give the battery clamps a good scouring because as an auto mechanic, it’s all I’m really qualified to do. I’m thinking, “Uh, huh, the battery’s gonna test out fine, so I probably need new cables, or a new starter motor,” mentally tallying the cost of maintaining a 27-year-old carbureted 4WD rice-grinder that I use about as often as Rush Limbaugh does what serves him for a brain.

But when I return the young dude has run a battery of complicated tests on the thing and declares it a miracle of modern science, leaking magnetism, black magic and voodoo and probably creating a singularity under my hood every time I turn the key, which explains the voices emanating from the radio, if not my head.

And he gives me a brand-new battery. Free of charge.

Thus the White Tornado is powered, oiled, greased and lubed, its elderly cooling system’s loins warmly girded against midnight engine-block explosions due to plummeting temperatures. Another fiscal tragedy averted.

And a man needs a truck, truly, if only to haul his fat ass around.

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6 Responses to “Fat city Friday”

  1. barry Says:

    Well yeah…a man has to have his truck. Good luck getting mine from me.

    The rest is subject to one’s own story and point of view.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    Toyota pickup trucks…the choice of the Taliban and insurgents most everywhere! Pile a bunch of angry militants in the back armed with AK47’s and you have an amazing army at an incredibly low cost. Meanwhile the US of A spends billions fighting to prop up the corrupt leader of the country with drones, MRAP’s and all kind of expensive shit paid for with our tax dollars! Guess who’ll win (again).

  3. swell Says:

    All Hail Auto Parts, obsolescence and common sense.
    I don’t have a truck around anymore, but my idea of a truck is different than the bulgemobiles I see driving around here. 1 in 10 is a guy with as much as a stick of lumber in the back – most are overweight 40’s gals yapping on the phone. I guess that’s why Russ Feingold is gone. Sad.

  4. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    The ol’ rice rocket is barely broken in — just 112,674 miles, despite its vintage. Hell, I got more (and harder) miles on my own bad self.

    It needs work, of course. And doing the work (or rather, paying for the work to be done) doesn’t really make sense, from a strict cost-benefits-analysis standpoint. But I like this truck, and it’s the last one standing of the four Toyota trucks I once owned simultaneously up in Weirdcliffe — a 1983 2WD longbed, this ’83 4WD longbed, a ’98 Tacoma and a ’78 Toyota Chinook that was the second dumbest vehicle purchase I ever made, right behind a 1996 Ford F-150.

    Some grease monkey is gonna be making a boat payment off of me.

  5. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    I do loves me some truck. I’m on my 2nd F-150. This one’s got four doors. I’d still have the last one, but the wiffee said I had to get a back seat ’cause of the new baby. Now the baby’s eight, and we gots two horses and a trailer, so I gots another truck. T’ain’t nuthin’ to drive an F-150 in Houston. They’re just cars here.

    Down here, a truck is an F-250, four doors, four-wheel-drive, full leather interior, a Ron Paul sticker on the left side of the rear bumper and and a Texas Secede sticker on the right side of the rear bumper. Oh, and you gotta have the sticker in the back window: “Keep honking. I’m reloading.” Oh, and don’t forget the “If it flies, it dies” duck hunting sticker. That’s very popular this year.

    I really like the old four-wheel-drive Toyotas. They won’t die. Somehow they just can’t. My brother-in-law sunk one once, had it towed out, changed out the fluids, and it started right up. He’s swears by his 20-year-old Land Cruiser. It’s gotta have way over 200,000 miles on it by now.

  6. Charley Says:

    Patrick 114k miles on a 4 banger Toyota is just getting it broken in. You have at least another 200k to go.

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