“People in Texas will buy trucks even if they’re not going to haul anything heavier than raindrops.”
I remember traveling to Texas when I was in private practice, meeting a lawyer who was investigating a possible investment fraud case who wanted me to get involved.
I’m pretty sure it was in San Antonio.
What I remember most about the trip was the lawyer’s “truck,” or as we say in more refined circles, pickup truck. It was yuge. I don’t recall the specifications on it, but I’m guessing it had as many cylinders as could be had, had a full backseat with its own doors, and was yuge (but I repeat myself). Pretty sure I needed a ladder to get into the vehicle, though my memory might be a little hazy on that part.
The other things I remember is that while we were driving, it began to hail. Not hail like we have in the Northeast. Hail the size of f-ing golf balls. He quickly headed for a parking area under an apartment building, and we waited it out.
I never got involved in the case. And I don’t think I’ve been in a “truck” that yuge since.
That’s a long way of getting me to an article in The NY Times which is something of a cultural perspective on how little liberal northeast media understands about the country.
I’ve seen this phenomenon before. In April 2009, I wrote about how media covered the Tea Party movement in rural upstate NY, Looking At Tea Parties Through Binoculars, Like On Safari:
I attended the Tea Party in Corning, NY, yesterday. There was a good crowd in this relatively small town in western upstate NY (several hours from NY City), several hundred in total. Corning is home to Corning glass and Steuben glass. The entire region has been hit hard by the exodus of jobs to less tax intensive parts of the U.S. and abroad.
I don’t remember which speaker said it, but one of them described how politicians from New York City come up to the region so that they can say they have visited the countryside, and stare at the inhabitants as if through binoculars, like on safari.
And that description was a metaphor for what is motivating the Tea Parties and fueling the outrage…. But you wouldn’t know that if all you have are binoculars, and you are on permanent safari.
The NY Times went on safari to Texas, and it has an article about a peculiar love of the natives for trucks, Rodeo Offers a 90-M.P.H. Glimpse of Texans’ Truck Mania:
Tim Spell has noticed a peculiar condition that affects Texans’ mental, physical and automotive well-being.
“I call it ‘truck-itis,’” said Mr. Spell, the former automotive editor for The Houston Chronicle. “People in Texas will buy trucks even if they’re not going to haul anything heavier than raindrops. I was interviewing one guy. He had a 4-by-4. I said: ‘You live in Houston. Why do you have this 4-by-4?’ He said, ‘Well, I own a bar, and 4-by-4s are higher, and I can climb up on the cab and change out the letters of my marquee.’”
Whether for high-up urban letter-switching or more rural and rugged purposes, pickup trucks are to Texas what cowboy boots and oil derricks are to the state — a potent part of the brand. No other state has a bigger influence on the marketing of American pickup trucks.
Having diagnosed the symptoms and named the disease, the Times tried to understand by taking a safari to the Texas Truck Rodeo:
This year’s rodeo, held in October at the Longhorn River Ranch here in Dripping Springs, in the Hill Country outside Austin, left me with a new appreciation for the word truck-a-thon….
At the outdoor awards ceremony, everyone gawked at the two-handled Truck of Texas trophy. In the end, it went to the 2017 Ford Super Duty. A mere five voting points separated the Titan from the Super Duty. John Rieger, Ford’s Super Duty brand manager, gave the trophy a long kiss in the glow of the headlights.
In Texas, reportedly, they call the next video Truck Porn:
I know there are many Texas readers here, so perhap you can help the NY Times understand the love of truck.
Twitter reacted also to the notion that it was frivolous to spend money on a truck with more power than needed.
Do you know how many "give a fucks" you can haul in a pickup truck?
I have no idea I don't haul anything in my truck @nytimes
— DaveinTexas (@DaveinTexas) January 2, 2017
— “NOT” a Dr. Smittie™ GE.D (@smittie61984) January 2, 2017
wow, Texas loves trucks, no matter the reason, I live in Texas. It's like football,
— Sharon Wood (@mangrovegirl) January 2, 2017
When you're not paying $4k a month in rent, you can afford frivolous automobile purchases. https://t.co/H1eUAVaDo1
— Will Truman (@trumwill) January 2, 2017
This article is reason 3,453 Trump won.
— Chris Tsotsoros (@ctsotsoros) January 2, 2017
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