You might remember that back in August, I wrote "Bye Bye, Monster Truck!" This was after I made my decision to trade in my late husband's huge Dodge Ram pick up for something smaller that guzzled less gas and fit into the garage without hogging all the space.
Now, you might remember the details I laid out. The truck was 11 years old, had some mechanical problems, was costing me more money each year to keep it running. It did have many memories of my sweetie, from its rumbling exhaust system, to the many "artifacts" (used toothpicks, napkins, other "to be unnamed" DNA samples, old gas receipts, you get the picture!) that I found under the seat when I cleaned it out to sell it. I traded it with a feeling of losing a cherished part of my past with him, but also with a frustration for having to put up with the pain of maintaining an old truck that I hardly every drove.
When I traded it in, I thought I was lucky to get what money they gave me. The amount was somewhat under the blue book, more like what a "rough" trade in would bring. The truck had under 100,000 miles, which is somewhat odd for a truck that old, but during the last 4 years we/I owned it, it mostly sat unused. I think it accumulated about 5000 miles in those 4 years.
I'll never forget the used car appraiser at the dealership. He was smiling, saying "A little touch up paint, it'll look good as new!" I scoffed at that idea under my breath, thinking, "No way, buddy" Remember that political saying that was going around about putting lipstick on a pig? Certainly applies here!
You never ever see your old trade in again. I've traded in many vehicles in my day, one was deemed "rough, really rough!" by the used car appraiser. You can only hope someone will learn to love your old junker, and take it into their life for a couple hundred bucks. Or if no one rises to the bait, it will be a rectangle of mangled metal, ready to go to the steel mill to become a girder or a tin can. That was what I thought was going to happen to the monster truck. But yesterday I had a brake-applying, heart racing, drive around the neighborhood to make sure moment, I THOUGHT I SAW MY MONSTER TRUCK ON THE FRONT LINE OF THE LOCAL USED CAR DEALER! Or did I?
This was cause for a closer look-see! I did drive around the block to get back to the dealership's lot. The marks of our old truck had to be there. I would look for that dent in the bumper, put there by me as I had a close encounter with one of the 10 million trees on our property in the country. And that dent in the back quarter panel, put there as my sweetie attempted to back up our trailer into our best friends' driveway to help them as they were preparing to move away (sad day indeed!) And the label on that brand new camper shell window that I paid over $500 for last Christmas, after catching the original window in the garage door and smashing it to a million shards of glass in my driveway (still finding some shards every now and then when I move something that hadn't been moved when we cleaned up the mess.) And those distinctive white and red pin stripes down the side of the truck--would this really be the one?
YES IT WAS! The salesman came out and saw me inspecting the truck, asked me if I wanted to buy it back! Buy it back? They were asking over 3 times the amount I got in trade in! What fool would pay that for this truck? And yes, they did put lipstick on a pig--touch up paint on the dent, sprayed over the rusty tail pipes. The salesman asked me a few questions that he thought would help him sell it, were we the original owners, how come it had so few miles on it? He thought it was not a pig in lipstick, but a glam "Miss Piggy", able to turn a head or two. I've got to admit, it did look nice cleaned up. He commented on the cleanness of the inside. Yes, it only usually carried one wanna-be cowboy for most of it's miles, or Mr. Cowboy with his wanna-be cowgirl by his side. I don't think anyone ever sat in the back seat, you usually couldn't get to the back seat because of the junk piled on it!
SO GOOD LUCK, MR. USED CAR SALESMAN. GOOD LUCK CONVINCING SOME GULLIBLE TRUCK DRIVER TO PART WITH THAT MUCH MONEY FOR A VERY OLD TRUCK WITH LOTS OF ISSUES. I'M SURE THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO NEEDS A NICE CLEAN OLD TRUCK, AND HOPEFULLY THEY'LL GIVE THE MONSTER A GOOD HOME.
I felt compelled to drive by one more time yesterday, just to see it once more in a different perspective. It had gained a place of honor on the front line of the used-car dealership, and it looked as distinguished as its original owner, a proud but aging gent, waiting for a new life with a new family. Brought a tear to me eye, it did. New owner, be good to my Monster Truck, OK? It holds a lot of memories.