ChainsawAround this time last year my noble steed of a decade+, my trusty 1999 Toyota Tacoma, lay down, with the entire rear-end going out in a spectacular metallic-grinding nightmare. Yet noble and trusty till the bitter end; as it insisted on completing the 34 mile round trip to my place of employment and safely back home.

I knew what had to be done. Walking towards the truck, with grim determination, when Lil’ Red (that’s the spouse) brought me to a halt. Explaining we couldn’t afford a new vehicle right now and would need the truck in the coming months as we relocated. Accepting facts and facing reality, the shotgun and shovel were put away and the mechanic called.

$3000 + labor to replace the entire rear-end with original parts from the dealership!!! And we can’t afford another vehicle??? The shotgun and shovel came to mind again, but luckily our mechanic is a miracle worker. With spare parts, and some creative welding, the truck was back on the road and better than before for less than a 3rd of projected cost… whew, there went a bullet.

So, we moved. And the truck faithfully hauled over and away all our crap. But now it was facing a daily 50 mile round trip, and us the reality that it couldn’t go on forever. In addition, rising gas prices made its struggling 20 mpg a struggle. Whether we could still afford it or not, something had to give.

It gave a few months later in the way of a slightly used, reasonably priced 2019 Subaru Crosstrek. Sunshine-orange in color, with mine own custom-made “Clockwork” tag on front (think Stanley Kubrick films and that’s kinda funny). It succeeded its predecessor by 20 years as well as 34 mpg. Rest assured we will discuss the Crosstrek’s zombie apocalypse vehicle potential in the near future.

And what became of the truck? It’s still above ground, moving and literally out to pasture across from our new abode. Soaking up the sunshine, till repairs are made to the barn where it will soon live. Serving purpose when hauling is called for and when the grandsaw gets an impromptu driving lesson.Smoke

It was during one of those impromptus that our story actually begins. One afternoon, as he went to warm the truck up, he called me over in bemused distress and… holy s***!!! Though the sight that greeted my eyes was far from “holy” the s*** part was spot on. The entire driver’s side door and mirror were covered in bird poop.

Without missing a beat and a straight face, I said I was extremely upset that he’d pooped on the truck. But more so intrigued as to how he’d gotten his butt that high. For a second he thought the accusation was sincere. After the lesson, the offensive matter was washed off and the truck parked facing the opposite direction.

Two days later the fecal bandit struck again, this time coating the passenger side with reprocessed worm and seed. Weird that it technically went to the same side, yet on the opposite side. Curiosity and disgust prompted a quest to catch the culprit in the act.

Changing my smoking schedule and location to one which allowed a view of the dookie-assault victim paid off. Through the gray haze of my own making, a bright beautiful bluebird alighted on the truck’s passenger door. Promptly took a dump and then proceeded to flirt with himself in the side-mirror. Never knew nature was subject to narcissism. Dance, flutter, light peck, then hop to the top of the mirror and poop (respectfully out of sight of his “love interest”). This went on for some time until… suddenly he swoops up and over to the driver’s side. Where he violently attacks the bird he finds in the mirror there; with noticeably less bowel activity.

Bird… dude it’s the same bird dude and they’re both you… dude! On one side, you profess your love… to yourself. On the other- you attack your rival, which is yourself. To defend yourself which you just crapped all over?

Assuredly there is something profound, to be found, in relation to the human condition; a deep lesson of self-love and loathing. All I know is that I’m getting tired of washing the truck. And I’m running out of cigarettes.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.