The Dada Truck came into our lives by accident -- a nice metal crunching, oh-boy-I'm-better-off-donating-this-wreck kind of accident. One minute I was driving a BMW with too many miles and problems to get a click-through on Craigslist, the next minute I was waving good-bye as the flatbed from Cars For Causes hauled its carcass off in exchange for a tax write-off (which does NOT happen - don't believe the hype).
Since I had been driving alone and no one was hurt, I saw the accident as a good thing. As a new dad I simply felt too guilty spending perfectly good diaper money on a new car. But now, a world of possibilities lay ahead of me. Well, let's be honest: one very real, very desirable possibility lay ahead of me: T-R-U-C-K.
That evening, d Wife, our then 7-month old Fury and I set out to kick the tires of my dream ride, the Chevy Silverado. But as quickly as my pulse raced as our sales consultant Brian guided us through the herd of shiny new trucks, my spirits fell as I realized that even the lowest models were priced a tad above what I was willing to spend on transportation to work. I have never used the term crestfallen before, but thinking back to that moment, I can say I was utterly crestfallen. None of us said anything as we made our way back to d wife's car, not even Brian. But then...
"Hey, Jim. What about this one?"
I glanced over to what Brian was pointing at, then chuckled at his well-intentioned joke to lighten my mood.
"Yeah sure. If I could afford it!" (when crestfallen, I lack the skill to produce witty comebacks on the spot).
I had no reason to believe Brian was serious. I had just seen the lowest end Silverados they had on the lot to no avail. The behemoth I was staring at was a Silverado 3500. The biggest meanest truck in Chevy's non-commercial fleet.
"Well maybe you can. It's last year's model. Plus, I've had this bad boy sitting in the lot for two years. No one in this area wants to buy a dually."
(What? You mean you aren't often called upon to tow horse trailers on a moment's notice in Los Angeles? Get out!)
"Well... does it have a roomy back seat?" I asked in a feeble attempt to let practicality steer my purchasing decision.
"See for yourself!" replied Brian, as he opened the suicide doors (it's just a catchy term! ignore, ignore, ignore).
I placed Fury in the surprisingly roomy back seat and a single image flashed through my head: a pea in a Sherman Tank. Nothing on the road could hurt my baby boy as long as he was sitting in this vehicle. So that night I pulled the "it's safer for the baby" card and rationalized my way to 7,000 lbs of rumbling big boy toy. Plus, I actually did get it for less than the Silverado 1500. Can you blame me for passing up a great sale?
I loved that truck. And so did Fury. In fact, "truck" was one of the first words he could say. And soon after that, my truck became "Dada Truck."
Dada Truck gave me purpose...
One day, d wife asked "what are you gonna do with a truck that big anyway?"
"Uh, excuse me?"
"Haul dirt. That's what you do with a truck. I'm gonna find some dirt and haul it."
And so I did.
Along with my future backyard...
And some other cool things like granite countertops, demolition debris, IKEA sale items, Xmas trees, office furniture (for 3 bosses at 3 jobs - never let your boss know you have a truck), spinner bikes, boxes of live fish and ludicrously large fishtanks:
Dada Truck had personality...
A man wears his heart on his truck. Dada Truck was a billboard of all the things that were important to me. Back then, my passion in life was Muay Thai. Big ass trucks and fight teams go hand-in-hand. Probably because there's a huge window where you can display your team pride (cool, I just checked their website and I'm still on their homepage if you wanna play "Where's BD?"):
I also quite liked this bumper sticker I picked up in Nashville, though it was never an effective deterrent:
And my favorite accessory? The antenna ball Fury made me one Father's Day years ago:
Dada Truck had a bright future...
Before long, Dada Truck was paid off. Which meant it had pretty much earned tenure in our driveway. True, I've since bought a more practical daily driver and I don't really need it, but do you keep something around solely because you need it? Seven years have gone by since the day I drove off the lot thinking "Jim, you are crazy for buying this," and despite $120 fill-ups during the worst of the gas crisis and inability to park in urban areas, I still sigh when we pull into the driveway in our other cars, turn to d wife and say "if I had all the money in the world and could get any car on the planet, I'd still pick that one."
This truck was my excuse to ask for a Bass Boat every year for Christmas. This truck was going to take Fury and me into the wilderness on camping adventures involving mud. This truck was going to make me feel better about Fury being on the road as a newly licensed driver at 16. This truck was about good things to come.
Dada Truck is worth $12,000 in the Kelley Blue Book...
But parenthood isn't all about fun and games. It's about giving your child everything in your power to give. And this year, it was about accepting the fact that Fury is not going to blossom in the public school system. Although we missed the application deadline to get him into a local private school for September, we tried anyway. And he got the tour, loved it, took the test, got accepted, got waitlisted for the next available spot, crossed his fingers, got the OK and got very, very ecstatic. What did I get? A bill. For $927. Payable every month. Starting right now.
We never really did think about that part.
And I can't really go to my boss and ask for a $11,124 raise.
I guess in the big picture of Fury's life, the Dada Truck is still about good things to come. But I'm still gonna miss the hell out of it.