Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Like My Momma Used To Tell Me…

She would say to me, {in a generic old-world accent} “Little Gregory, as you go through life, always remember – It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Those words are as true today as they were the day my dear Momma spoke them all those many years ago.

My truck, The Boss 1971 Ford F100 Custom Camper Special, is basically a POS. It is great for around town and the occasional trip to neighboring towns, and that accounts for 99.9% of my driving, but I wouldn’t feel good about taking it out of the county. It is a reliable POS – to a point. A few months back when gas prices topped $2.80 a gallon I considered selling it, but the sting of high gas prices has faded. And even though prices are still high, I’m in no hurry to get rid of it. Like I said, it is a reliable POS

Here it is parked in front of the Task Master

This weekend I need to drive to Placerville to pick up the replacement flooring for the kitchen. When ever I need to go out of town I rent. Since the truck costs almost nothing to maintain, this is a no-brainer. If I owned a newer, reliable truck for the rare out of county trip, one months car payment with insurance and registration would be more than I spend on car rentals in a year. Plus, The Boss 1971 Ford F100 Custom Camper Special is nothing anyone would ever want to steal so I don’t worry about it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve even locked the doors in the 3 years I’ve owned it. There is no stereo and I never keep anything of value in it.

So rent I do and today I started calling around to rental places about a full-size pick-up truck. I just want a one day rental. I’ll pick it up Friday evening and return in Saturday evening. I’ve done this in the past and it works well for trips to the Bay Area. However, now they all tell me they close at Noon on Saturday. Avis, National, and Enterprise all close at Noon on Saturday. This means I would have to rent the truck for the weekend. One place said I could return it to the airport (20 minutes from my house), but they may not have a truck on Friday. Thanks for nothing. All is not lost. Tentatively my boss has told me he will rent me his truck for the one day. I offered him $100, and he declined, but I would give it to him anyway.

So, one way or another I’m getting a truck and driving to Placerville. I think I said it was 600 miles round trip at one point, but to be honest I’m not really sure. No matter how far the exact miles, it is going to be a butt load of driving. The plan with the rental was to leave about 3:00 AM and drive all night so I could get there about 7:00 or 8:00. Then turn around and have the truck returned by 5:00 on Saturday. That leaves plenty of buffer room. I would have to risk life and limb driving like a bat out of Hell to get back by Noon.

Long drives used to make me nervous but I now go about it in a very pragmatic way. I figured out that the less time I spend on the highway, the less likely I am to get in an accident. Also, a little something to calm my nerves, like wine, helps immensely. So now, right before I leave, I chug-a-lug a full bottle of red wine – a nice Cabernet, maybe - and then drive as fast as I possibly can all the way to my destination. It works great! I highly recommend it, especially for new drivers, like teenagers.


Kristin said...

Hee hee, love the driving plan. We have a 1969 F100 ... actually, it's Darwin's dad's. It's a handy beast except for the fact that it has no passenger side seatbelt. I'm a seatbelt stickler, so that doesn't work out too well for me.

Nick said...

I think we need a hall-o-fame (shame?) to post pictures of our beasts. Mine is a 1988 Ford E150 passenger van, with the passenger seats long gone. There are a few remnants of shag carpet in the back still, but overall it's been converted to a weekend hauler. "The Captain" is also a semi-reliable POS - she's running better now that I replaced all her fluids.

Sad news though, this weekend someone put a rock through the driver's side window :(

Jocelyn said...

That's what I love about you Greg- you're so sensible. I can relate with being nervous about long road trips. I am like the opposite of many people, driving in the city is a breeze- I know this town like tha back of my hand- but get me on the expressway and I start to feel queasy.

bring some good tunes...