Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

An Ode To My Truck: The Red Hornet

An Ode To My Truck: The Red Hornet

I purchased this truck in January, 2001 because I was doing a lot of commuting during my last semester of school. Rather than putting large numbers of miles on my Buick (and paying through the nose for the gas that cow uses; a Hummer is more economical) I figured I'd buy a cheap four-cylinder truck. Doing so would let me rack up the miles on something that had already depreciated, get better gas mileage and as an added bonus, give me a vehicle that would allow me to haul larger loads without having to borrow a friends truck all the time.

Little did I know that I would fall in love with the "Red Hornet". My Buick sats in the garage most of the time as the truck became my main transportation when the weather is too inclement (yes, even for the Tundra Man) to ride my motorcycle. My original hope was the truck would last the four remaining months of school. I was pleased to have it last nearly four years. It happily hauled everything I filled it with, and even when loading it way beyond rated capacity it didn't so much as groan. I hooked up and towed a huge, overloaded trailer more than 100 miles at 75 mph without any problems (although the tranny got admittedly hot-I couldn't hold on to the gearshift for very long!) It was the most reliable, trouble-free vehicle I've ever owned. My wife said it had to be reliable, because everything that could possibly break was already broken before I bought it.

In any event, a fine vehicle such as this stirs the emotion beyond that what normal utilitarian transportation will do. After the many years of faithful service this little Mazda provided me, the least I could do is sing its praises via poetic verse. I decided that the norm of iambic pentameter was far too cliche for a vehicle of this stature, and that the Japanese Haiku is a much more fitting tribute for a classy vehicle such as this. Because I don't know Japanese, I decided to sidestep the traditional method of using 17 Japanese characters to form the Haiku and instead use the English standard of a three line, 5-7-5 syllable poem.

What follows is my ode to my truck:

My first sight of her,
A reddish vision so sleek.
The memory's fresh.

Red is the color,
Except where there is rust spots.
Cancer spreading wild.

The year that produced this truck.
That and Bruce Hornsby

Shovel out the drift,
So I can take a test drive.
The door is froze shut.

Five hundred asking,
Leaves me some room to haggle.
How about ten bucks?

What's the price of love?
Two-hundred fifty dollars,
Add on four used tires.

Brakes make funny noise.
Fingernails on a chalk board.
Metal on metal.

Where does the oil go?
A quart once per month at least.
Some leaked and some burned.

The bed has many holes.
Like a giant collander.
Who needs fender wells?

Create a home-made
Bed liner from OSB.
Now I can haul things.

Don't change that dial.
The radio is touchy.
One station's enough.

What is that blue haze?
Keep the window cracked open.
Carbon monoxide.

Tailgate latch won't work,
Cut a hole to release catch.
That's what saws are for.

My forearms are huge.
The power steering is broke.
Popeye is jealous.

Fill up just half way.
The gas tank leaks at the seam.
Otherwise we drip.

Shocks are for weenies,
Leaf springs work fine by themselves.
My fillings are loose.

Oil pressure sensor.
Our once-per-year tradition,
Replace it again.

A small rattle grew.
Engine roar and bright sparks fly.
Where'd the muffler go?

Frigid temp, starts fine.
If only the heat would work,
My face wouldn't freeze.

Air conditioning?
You've got to be kidding me.
I'd fix the heat first.

Four cylinders throb.
We don't need a bigger mill:
No body weight left.

Heavy things to haul?
I ignore tongue weight limits.
Let's pull a trailer.

Time and time again,
I ask myself this question:
What does "Mazda" mean?

Cheap to insure her.
Liability only.
No point wasting cash.

My wife had her doubts.
Do we really need a truck?
Now she too believes.

Odometer reads:
One hundred fourty two thousand,
And still going strong.

Some scoff at my choice.
Don't laugh and point your fingers.
I have no payments.

Three and a half years.
Twenty thousand happy miles.
One tenth of my life.

Wife can rest secure,
I would never cheat on her.
How I love this truck.

The day it leaves me,
Will be the day that I cry.
Trucks go to heaven.

This is an original poetic work written by the Tundra Man.
Please do not confuse it with the works of other great poetic authors such as Hawthorne, Poe or Shatner.

Update! As of 2/16/2005, there was a new truck in my life. Click here to view its poetry.

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This page last updated on 07/11/2018