The Stuff That Ends Up In My Truck… and STAYS
By Jeff Salter
Our specific topic this week is “What do you keep in your [vehicle]?”
Well, I’m not so glad you asked that question.
Before I reveal any particular confessions, let me establish that I’m NOT one of those guys who washes his vehicle every single week and gets it waxed and detailed every month. [Heck, I used to know a man who was such a fanatic that he’d take his wife’s car every Saturday to be detailed!] Well, that’s not me, folks. Seriously.
To me, a vehicle – in my case, a small pickup truck – is basic transportation which I occasionally use to haul stuff. Plus, every week, this truck conveys my trash cans down to the curb – some 600 feet away – and brings back the empties the following day. Every month, this truck carries recycling down to that same curb.
My truck is a utilitarian machine with seats. It’s not designed to travel in a parade or preen in a “car” show. It will never make the cover of any automobile magazine… unless the featured article is a “before and after” project. This poor thing is nearly 12 years old and has the dents and scrapes to show for it.
So, let’s depart from the notion that my truck is pretty, neat, or clean. If it’s been raining, my truck is wet; if there’s been pollen attack, my truck can be a state’s witness; if there was a lot of mud or slush on the road somewhere, you’ll know exactly where I’ve been.
So what’s in my truck now?
As I’m writing this, I still have my “winter ballast” in the extreme rear of the truck bed. That’s because these quarter-ton pickups – when empty – have zero traction on the rear wheels and you can skid even on mild turns. In wintry road conditions, I need that extra 250 pounds (of gravel, sand, salt, and scrap iron) just for an extra measure of safety and stability. I carry that ballast from about November through about March. [By the time you read this, all that ballast will be stacked at the corner of the house where it will wait until next winter.]
INSIDE my truck, you will find the following:
** a spare jacket (because you never know when you’ll have to hike from wherever your vehicle stops… for whatever reason).
** maps, including Texas and Mississippi (because I used to travel in those states and in these past 10 years, I have not seen fit to weed my map collection).
** a five pound bag of cat food (because King Sipper will break open the bag if he can find it… and the vermin will get into it. In my truck, it’s safe until the cat’s regular food container is nearly empty and I can transfer the new bag’s contents from the truck to Sipper’s feeding platform).
** the usual assortment of vehicle manual, registration, and insurance… plus receipts from: oil changes, the last battery I bought, and 296 gasoline fill-ups.
** a hodgepodge of napkins from various fast-food places (because you never know when you’re gonna spill something in the truck cab).
** a flashlight that barely works (but I keep forgetting to change the battery).
** 129 empty candy wrappers and an un-used sundae spoon from DQ.
** a set of plastic traction plates (if stuck in snow or ice) which I got for the recent Christmas.
** and, like the Foxes so far this week, a windshield scraper.
I guess that’s about it for the contents of my truck.
What’s in YOUR vehicle?
[JLS # 326]