A truck conversation: Something in the way it moves

A coworker approached me at my desk with a question.

“Davis,” he said.

“What?” I responded.

“Whoa!” he said half-jokingly. “Don’t bite my head off. It’s just a simple request.”

Apparently, answering “what?” when someone says your name is now considered brusque, even rude. In my mind, it cuts right to the chase, but apparently our hypersensitive society now requires us to soften our response to something more polite. I should’ve said:

“How can I help and/or serve and/or do your job for you on this fine spring morning?”

In my efforts to become a friendlier, more charitable individual and less of a raging douchebag, I’m trying to learn the social graces of casual workplace conversation. In the past, I never was one to spend much time chatting with my fellow employees. If I wanted information about the weather, I’d check it online. If I wanted an opinion on who was going to make the Final Four, I’d consult the pundits on ESPN. If I wanted to know what it felt like to give birth to a Super Duty® Ford Tough™ pick-up truck, I’d hang around the stage door at a monster truck rally and try to catch up with Truckzilla.

Actually, my production coordinator Anthony hadn’t technically borne the huge shiny new truck sitting in the parking lot himself. But he was acting like a proud new father the first day he drove his recent purchase to the office, telling anyone who appeared half-animate about all the wonderful specs of Ford’s top-of-the-line offering for the manly man.

So I summoned up all the patience I could, brought along a small snack in case the conversation lasted past lunchtime, and pretended to be interested in learning all about Anthony’s pride and joy. The conversation went something like this:

Anthony: Something something hemi something powertrain something torque.

Me: Is that so? Wow, those words connote such strength that it’s hard to imagine how you control the thing driving down the road.

Anthony: Something power-stroke something something turbocharger something something workhorse.

Me: Are you going to be driving it much in the wilderness? I’ve seen some of those trucks propped up on a pile of rocks in the TV commercials. Yours, I bet, could conquer Mt. Everest if it wanted to. I can Mapquest that route for you if you like.

Anthony: Something 6.7-liter diesel something displacement something something exhaust manifold.

Me: That’s a hell of a lot of liters. Point-seven, you say? Looking at it from the outside, I would’ve guessed no more than maybe a 6.3 or 6.4 on the Richter scale.

Anthony: Something something payload package something horsepower something something V10.

Me: Well, I sure know who to turn to now if I ever need to ask help with some heavy-duty hauling. I was thinking about excavating for gold in my backyard as a summer project. Maybe I could get you to carry away the tailings. I’ll throw in a couple of nuggets for your trouble.

Anthony: Something TorqShift® something something RPM something super cab.

Me: That’s pretty cool how they combine two words into one, and then throw a register mark on the end. Are you sure you pronounce it as “circled R”, though?

Anthony: Something four-by-four something running ground clearance something ramp backover angle something twin-coil monobeam axle.

Me: Are you sure it’s the twin-coil monobeam and not the mono-coil twinbeam? Because I think I heard they were having trouble with some of those, and there was going to be a recall. Yeah, yeah, I remember now — they said there was a typo in their original engineering drawings, and it was supposed to be a “moonbeam,” not a “monobeam.”

Anthony: Something something wheelbase something something wheelhouse something something steering wheel.

Me: We’ll have to see how that works out, ha-ha. Get it? We’ll? Wheel?

Anthony: Compacted graphite iron block something something roller rocker shaft.

Me: I had a pencil once that had graphite in it, but it got terrible mileage. What’s the fuel efficiency on that baby? Oh, that’s right, we don’t care. Did you have to pay extra for the rock-and-roll shaft, or was it standard?

Anthony: Something stabilizer bar something something number of studs something rotor diameter.

Me: I know what you mean. It’s gotta take every ounce of energy you have to keep that thing in your pants. That truck is a total chick magnet. Or else a dude magnet; I’m not sure which.

Anthony: Something something something something.

Me: That’s really something. Hey, I think I hear my phone ringing. I’ll talk to you later.

That's one solid piece of trucking! How many innocent pedestrians do you plan on crushing?

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4 Responses to “A truck conversation: Something in the way it moves”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    You could have asked him if he got the middle-aged, declining powers compensatory package. He would have heard “something something powers package” and answered with a cheery “Yes!” or else, “No, I got the top of the line package.”

  2. deyank Says:

    I love it! The perfect conversation with one of ‘that type of guy’. I knew one several years ago that doted so much on his truck that he probably would have wed it if he could get a license for that sort of thing. His ex-sife probably named it in the divorce proceedings as ‘that other hemi’.

  3. tychy Says:

    you should never buy too big a car because when it breaks down, it’s a great deal of effort pushing it to the nearest garage.

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