So Your Brother Wants to Borrow the Truck…

God help him. 

Print these addenda to the Owner’s Manual, and leave it on the kitchen counter, next to the keys and insurance cards. I don’t mind letting him use the old truck, but your brother should really read this before driving it anywhere.


If you see your brother, tell him that the A/C works, but he’s got to pull the little knobbie-things off and turn the whatchyamacallits with the pair of pliers that I keep above the rear view mirror. It’s better to do this BEFORE setting out into traffic, as the pliers are the folding kind and can make for a rather “unfocused” yet adventurous grasp of the more important vehicle control features (skip to the POWER STEERING SECTION OF THIS CHAPTER). While on the subject of the A/C, the funny smell usually goes away pretty quickly, though I don’t know if there’s actually anything involved in creating this odor that would trigger an allergic reaction due to your brother’s sensitivities.


The duct tape doesn’t hold the left side mirror in place very well, but it (the mirror, not the tape) shouldn’t actually fall OFF or anything. If your brother has really bad peripheral vision, then he’ll be fine. Otherwise, it’s a very vertiginous feeling to accelerate or brake and notice -out of the corner of your eye- that the little rectangle that is the part of the left side of the universe you just motored past is hurtling around out there, willy-nilly.


And it would be wise of him to check the oil before setting out; I don’t remember the last time I did so, but the truck will use a little as the weeks pass. At worst, I sure don’t want it back. If the engine locks up, “Abandon ship” is the best motto: he’ll just have to rip the tag and the VIN off the truck and fend for himself (the CLIMATE CONTROL pliers would be very useful about now). Make sure he grabs the rest of the roll of duct tape, though.


The passenger seat latch that adjusts forwards and backwards is loose; he should check to make sure that the latch is secured, or – at the very least – only allow passengers to ride “shotgun” if they have really strong leg muscles, in case of a panic stop (usually occurs while trying to adjust the aforementioned CLIMATE CONTROL features…though he may need to cross – reference the REAR VISIBILITY paragraph as well)


   Drivers unaccustomed to the nuances of handling a vehicle of this caliber should be advised: The steering wheel is the most important (and overlooked) aspect of driver input for this particular truck. While some automobiles have steering systems described as “responsive,” “intuitive,” and even (gasp) “telepathic,” the vehicle your brother is about to have the pleasure of operating far exceeds this list of notable quotables. In fact, he’ll probably very quickly discover his own personalized list of adjectives that describe the handling of this mighty behemoth in which he’ll soon find himself.

   But I digress; back to driver input:  things as decisive as “left,” “right,” or “straight,” are reduced to mere suggestions and approximations. With enough road time, it becomes second nature to correctly guess the direction in which the truck will (usually) lurch and apply the correct amount of counter-steer to maintain a straight-line path.*

*Inevitably, the presence of an officer of the law directly behind this vehicle causes much more erratic lurching. In an ironic twist that any good citizen could appreciate, my experience has shown that it’s worth a little lost time to simply pull into a local bodega and refresh one’s thirst while said officer of the peace continues on his way without your distracting driving inspiring a most personal and awkward line of interrogation.


Tie all cargo / passengers securely!!! Sudden stops, off-course diversions, and other bumpy and swervy behavior are “de rigueur” while operating this truck, and pretty much anything else NOT already covered could happen, too. Your cargo’s value will never be higher than the last millisecond before it is catapulted into oncoming traffic.

By the way, tell your brother I said, “Hi.”

Happy Motoring!!!

-b.s.   😉


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