Saturday, September 11, 2004
As a birthday/Christmas/graduation present, my parents got me a 2003 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab pickup truck. It's silver, it's got 4WD, and it's got a Leer cap on the back. Basically, it looks like this (the silver one), except with the aforementioned cap and with Virginia Tech license plate frames. I like it a lot. Twice, my parents had told me that they wanted to get me a new car, and twice I'd told them that I was okay with using our 1994 Ford Taurus station wagon. Finally, they told me that as my two youngest sisters (twins) were both now old enough to drive, that we needed it for one of them so that they could get to work after school, and that was enough to get me to consider a new vehicle. My parents had been thinking of something like a Toyota RAV4 or a Honda CRV, but I looked and both had tiny engines and not all that much cargo space. This was bad, as the two main things I want in a car are power and space (yes, I'm an American male, why do you ask?). Over at one Toyota lot, I wandered over to randomly look at the pickup trucks, and noticed, to my surprise, that the Tacoma Double Cab was (with the manufacturer's discounts for both vehicles applied), the same price as the RAV4. However, it had a much bigger engine and a lot more room to carry things. I tried very hard to find a used truck over the next few weeks but there were no good ones available, which is no surprise as most pickup truck drivers drive theirs essentially until the whole thing collapses in a heap and dies, which sometimes happens around the 200k or even 300k mark.
I like how I've got enough space to lug all my furniture down to school, and yet am still able to get enough acceleration to drive and merge on the Beltway in the local style. I really like the sound system as well, though given that the Taurus had no CD player and one of my sisters had blown out the treble on the speakers (how, I don't know), the standard Toyota system would have a hard time not comparing favorably. I like how there is a seemingly-random button that I can push to suddenly change the fuel mixture and add about 70 horsepower. Due to an incident on a trip to Chester, it has now become de rigeur to "Fire the Booster" at the slightest provocation. However, the real reason that I love my truck is that it's great for ministering to others. I really like to help people. With this, I've carried couches, a load of dirt, several dozen boxes of tap shoes, and countless full loads of backpacks/suitcases and carloads of people. There have been several times when trips simply would not have happened had I not had a vehicle as capable as my truck. I had a lot of these things in mind when I decided on this particular model, but I never dreamed that I'd be able to use it so much, so soon. Again, it really brings me great joy and fulfillment to be able to serve others in this way, and there are very few things for which I'd trade having the Tacoma.
One thing that I don't like, though, is having people criticize my truck. Now, I could understand it if you were saying something like "you should've left the back open" or "I think that maroon would've been a better color." Those are things on which reasonable people can disagree, and I can easily see the merits of such comments. Things that get to me, though, are comments like "only a V6? My truck has a V8," "Yours is really just a big station wagon," or "if it's not a manual, it's not really a truck." The model does not come in manual. If it were to have done so, I still would have gotten an automatic, for essentially the same reason as I prefer power door locks and windows to manual ones. It's called technological progress. It's also the reason I have a CD player and not an 8-track. Stick-shift is old and busted; automatic is the new hotness. For that matter, if a person doesn't like my truck, then perhaps they shouldn't be bumming rides off of me. The way I was raised, you don't complain about a person's car when they're giving you a ride. I'm sure there's something about not looking gift horses in the mouth and beggars not being choosers that would be relevant to this.
All this is to say that I am extremely fortunate, not only to have such a fine vehicle but also to be able to use to serve others. I hope you like my truck as much as I do. It is truly a blessing for me to have it, and I am extremely thankful.