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Truck Well-Suited for Chuckholes
You're probably wondering why a dazzling urban sophisticate such as myself drives a vehicle so utilitarian, so rural, so non-dazzling as a Ford pickup truck.
OK, so you're not wondering. Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.
I drive a pickup for practical reasons. It's splendid for hauling the Christmas tree off to be recycled. There's no better vehicle for driving someplace with your dog. If it breaks down, I know it'll be easy to get parts, seeing as every other pickup on the road is pretty much the same model.
I drive one for sentimental reasons. I learned to drive in a pickup. My grandfather and uncles drove pickups. I have loved pickups since I was a little boy.
And I drive one for safety reasons, because this time of year, in Indiana, getting behind the wheel of something large is really the only prudent way to drive. It is in my neighborhood, anyway, where a pickup truck is about the only civilian vehicle that won't disappear into the water-filled hole in the alley behind my garage.
Other places have Monsoon Season. Other places have Mud Season. In Central Indiana we have the Street Opens Up and Swallows a Hyundai Season.
The hole in the alley is about 15 feet long and in a couple of places, going on six inches deep - although you can't really tell about the depth, seeing as how the thing is always up to (and occasionally over) the brim with rain water. This makes it a small but treacherous pond, and one which generates lots of extra business for the neighborhood Firestone dealer. In fact, I've taken to calling it Lake Realignment.
A solution that is growing in popularity around the neighborhood would be to pave the alley. Are you listening, Indianapolis city government? No, of course you're not. You never listened before. Why should today be any different?
Actually, it is not because of the city that the alley goes unpaved. It is because some of my neighbors are those nose-in-the-air types who seem to have no interests other than lecturing the rest of us about preserving the historic character of our neighborhood, including the alleys. My alley is paved with old bricks. The nose-up folks have successfully fought every attempt to have them paved over, thereby preserving the historic character of the neighborhood at the expense of everyone's suspensions.
Now, you'll notice I have avoided calling the lake in the alley what I always called such things in the past, namely a chuckhole. I'm still smarting from the last time I used the word chuckhole and got all kinds of mail from people insisting that chuckholes are properly called potholes, and chiding me for such a gooberish locution.
It should be noted that about half these letters were from guys named Charles. A few of them were sufficiently insulting as to make the writers seem like holes of another sort.
I grew up calling these things chuckholes, so named after the woodchucks who dug big holes directly in the paths of horses, or so it seemed, back in Grandpa's day. I shudder to think of the woodchuck that could accomplish the kind of excavation you see in my alley. And this brings me to another reason for having a pickup. Never mind asking how much wood a woodchuck could chuck. I want to know where he chucked the paving material so I can bring it back to the alley.
I have just the truck for the job.
© 2008 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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