I’m Just Saying: Keep on trucking

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 9, 2018

In a move that feels like sadly rehoming a beloved, elderly pet, it appears it’s time to send our old farm truck to that big garage in the sky — or more likely, a nearby junkyard.

It’s not that I feel it needs to be put out of its misery — its mighty 10 cylinder engine has rivaled Jake Lamotta for its powerful longevity — but, like countless Dodge trucks from 1999-2003, I fear it has now turned against, and indeed is planning to kill me.

These trucks, with no apology or responsibility taken from Chrysler, have developed cracked dashboards. That’s a rather anemic description, really. The truth is they look as though Carrie Underwood took “a Louisville Slugger” in a fit of rage across the top of it as she was recording the video for “Before He Cheats.”

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All I know is mine, as well as thousands of others, has collapsed as a result of the inferior grade plastic shell, and the fitted carpet cover I placed over it hasn’t stopped broken pieces escaping and wire becoming exposed.

‘’In the end, the whole thing’ll collapse, and it won’t be drivable,” pointed out my mechanic, Jimmie.

“Is it expensive to fix?” I asked naively. Silly rabbit.

“Yep,” came my answer. “It has to be replaced. It’s a big job.”

Replaced, of course, with no guarantee that the new one won’t break apart as well.

It’s not as though I drive this truck a lot. At three city blocks to the gallon, it makes it to the feed store and back, as well as to Home Depot.

At first, the degradation of the dash was simply inconvenient. I placed a medium iced tea in the cup holder and with a crack, it broke in half and both my shoes and carpeting were soaked. Not to mention sticky.

The volume knob to the radio no longer seems connected to anything and remains cranked, as Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap would describe, “up to 11.” This means the radio must remain turned off less one wants to somersault backwards into the rear window after turning the key some sleepy morning and being assaulted by a shrieking Mariah Carey.

I dare not turn on the heat from fear that a tsunami of stink bugs will come flying out after handily burrowing within the cracks during the winter.

The thing that kills me (besides potentially the dash) is Chrysler’s claim that the cracked dashboard is only a “cosmetic” issue, with “no reports of injuries.”

Are you kidding me? If the airbag even still works the knife sharp shards that would explode with it will leave me looking like an extra from “Saving Private Ryan,” and effectively squelch any chance of an open casket funeral.

Even cremation would be dicey. I’d be so riddled with plastic you’d have to haul me to the recycler.

One nice thing about being a stand-up comic is that, if you have a heckler, you have the power of the microphone to bury them. Writing a column also gives you a similar sort of platform if you choose to use it, and, in this case, I do.

On behalf of all the hard working (not necessarily me) people who are stuck with the thousand dollar repair job as well as the potential for real injury due to your shoddiness and irresponsibility, shame on you, Chrysler. Shame on you for ignoring thousands of good (not necessarily me) people who really wanted to “buy American.”

A truck is a huge investment. Even used ones aren’t cheap. Many people rely upon them to make a living.

Ours most certainly were not “Built Ram Tough.”

“Assembled on the Cheap” is more like it.