Friday, March 07, 2008

I Bought a Truck for a Dollar

Coming to an Open Mic Night or a file sharing site near you someday. From the forthcoming album, Geometry.

True story. I bought a truck for a dollar. No really. Big ol’ truck from Jim Harriger up at Victory Mission. Big black Dodge. '72. Strong looking beast with good tires and a V8 at some garage you’ve never seen up on the north and west sides of town, I think on Atlantic Street. Rusted out and dirty as could be, but when you need wheels, you don’t care. Yeah, I bought a truck for a dollar.

Yeah, I bought a truck for a dollar. It stalled about fifteen times in the four-mile drive as I stopped traffic at 5-o’clock rush hour. True story. My buddy was following, pretending he didn’t know me as I pulled into Casey’s for a break. Catch my breath, get a Pepsi. I got it the last quarter mile with only three more stalls and admired it in my drive. Yeah – I bought a truck for a dollar.

I bought a truck for a dollar and my neighbor Gary who’s an ace mechanic said he’d have a look in trade for an old dead mower. Gary likes engines and rebuilds old cars and he’d know what to do. He had the hood off as he crawled up inside with his big ol’ country self, gapping points and cleaning stuff. Found a sticking float and some bad freeze plugs and a tranny about to go. I bought a truck for a dollar.

While Gary tinkered and did his best the better part of a day I cleaned out the bed, full of mulch from years ago. It was an old farm truck from Ohio and the bed was rusted through. I cleaned out the cab and found pencils and pens and pennies and nickels and a treasure in the glovebox. True story. Three 8-track tapes from long ago. Willie Nelson, Elvis, and Olivia Newton John. I bought a truck for a dollar.

It was no good going, Gary announced, as he apologized and packed up his tools and hauled off the old mower for trade. Like a cat playing with a half-dead squirrel he sat under a tree and had that thing going by sunset. He gave me the names of some salvage yard buddies who might give eighty bucks. An old V8, decent tires and a windshield still intact. I bought a truck for a dollar.

The salvage yard guy came out the next morning about 7 in a huge flatbed. Had his daughter in the cab, on their way to school. “You mean all you have is that letter from Victory Mission saying you can have this truck? No title? Well, that’s only worth twenty bucks to me.” “But I put a battery in it for twenty four bucks!” I protested, and he said, “Battery goes with it.”

So, I bought a truck for a dollar and after I sold it I lost money on the deal. True story. He hauled it away on his big flatbed as I stood in my mulch covered drive. My one-dollar-wheels, too good to be true. I guess I’m not a very good businessman. But what the salvage yard man didn’t know was I got one up on him. The 8-tracks tapes stayed with me. Willie, Elvis, and Olivia. Who wins now? Yeah. I bought a truck for a dollar.

© 2008 Radio Free Babylon™

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  • As you know, I have a used-car-from-Florida story that also resulted in a song. Maybe we can get a theme CD going. I like your automotive price point better though. Now, it would be cool if you could use some samples from those eight tracks.

    By Anonymous captain wtf, at March 7, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

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