Most guys like muscle cars, but cowboys like muscle pickupsâ€”four-wheel drives with Cummins, Duramax, or Powerstroke engines. I just like throwing around power.
Itâ€™s seldom that I get to drive our souped-up pickup; a black Dodge diesel dually. The rare times I do drive it, the trailerâ€™s hooked on to haul kids to rodeos or the butcher critter for processing.
My husband was recently forced to let me take it up without the trailer for a long-standing appointment sixty miles away, to install a power chip and get a tune-up. He had an urgent need to haul 2,000 gallons of water to our cows but needed a tire on the water truck repaired first. Tackling those jobs was more than I could handle, but I had no problem handling the six-speed dually.
When he explained Iâ€™d have to take it up, like a teenager I tried to act as though it was an inconvenience and downplayed my enthusiasm for the opportunity to drive it trailer-free. And like a parent of a teenager, my husband expressed hesitancy and worry over letting me drive the dually; repeating instructions to be careful and watch out for surrounding traffic. I replied with â€œI GOT IT!â€… â€œYES!â€… â€œCAN I GO NOW?â€â€”type responses then turned around and headed for the pickup, hiding a grin.
On the drive up while listening to the rattling diesel engine, I thought power just vibrated throughout the cab and was confident I looked impressive. It wasnâ€™t until I headed home that I understood real power, the obsession, and the reason for my limited access all this time. After hanging around for the all-day appointment I was anxious to get going. I blasted out of the parking lot saying, â€œWHOA!â€ out loud to no one in particular. A different kind of adrenaline rush came over me. I had possession of more powerâ€”power to make others envious and intimidated that a woman was driving a newly enhanced heavy duty pickup. It was hard not to smile while smoking like a big black jet past sluggish cars, pickups with trailers and semis up steep hills.
As I unleashed this revamped power by persistently testing it out in various ways, I came up with reasons why I havenâ€™t been cut loose with the dually very often. I would Â develop an addiction to power (too late), want to trade in my SUV for a dually, get belligerent and intimidate people with the duallyâ€™s size, loud rattle and monster grill, drag race other pickups up steep hills or get too sassy (too late).
When our dog alarmed everyone I was home, my husband met me in the driveway, looking for signs of injury (to the pickup). He asked how the appointment went and sensed I was ODâ€™d on a power trip. I wished I wouldâ€™ve had the power to shut up. I said too much about my experimental power tests and before I had a chance to come off my diesel engine high, he apprehended my power and the dually had the horse trailer back on.
I wonder how fast Iâ€™d be in a drag race up hills with a horse trailer.
This column was originally published August 19-25, 2007