The summer after my freshman year of college was a weird time for me. I hadn’t thought about locking down an internship during spring semester as I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do with my life and I was drunk more often than I was sober. When I packed my bags up and moved everything back into my parent’s house in early May of that year, it was understood that I would get a job for the three months that I had off from school. So with no real leads I did what any other privileged kid from the suburbs would do: I asked my parents if they knew of anyone who could give me a part-time gig. What my mom found for me wasn’t ideal, but with mounting pressure from the parental units to do something other than watch movies in their basement I accepted a position as a “customer service representative” (their job description, not mine) at a Toyota dealership.
Hell doesn’t even begin to describe what the life of a “porter” is on a day-to-day basis. I did customer service but it was in no way what I was expecting. From 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., four days a week, I worked on my hands and knees cleaning the insides of people’s cars. With no air conditioning inside of a car garage on a hot summer day, I’m sure most of you can appreciate how terrible it really was. A good day would be one where I got assigned to be a runner. On those days I would alternate between parking cars waiting to be serviced and driving them back to respective customers waiting in the lobby.
Three months of that bullshit made me appreciate my circumstances. For me, this job had an expiration date. I got to go back to school. Some of my coworkers did not, and for that, I’ll always appreciate my degree. And while that was an important lesson to learn, I also learned that some customers were just cooler than others. Now I don’t like to generalize, but what I found was that the people with the most confidence were the guys with very large trucks.
Go ahead and make your generic, unoriginal joke about compensating for something. I’ll wait. But you know those giant trucks are kind of cool. The Tundras with the extended cab. They’d bring these monstrosities in to get tuned up but they’d also be the only customers who would actually treat us porters like human beings. At the very least, they’d ask how our day was going, and I’d look up with a half-smile and say something like, “Eh, can’t complain.” The Prius owner or the pre-owned Lexus guy wouldn’t give me or the other porters the time of day. The truck guys were the ones who would tip us, so I may be romanticizing the truck owner. But whatever, I’m going to run with it.
Now we all know that Grandex has what some would call an unhealthy obsession with Mazda Miatas. And there is no denying that the Miata is a really sick drop-top if you need something that’ll take your hair back as you drive down the expressway. With the mane I’m sporting right now, a Miata would make my hair look fantastic as I’m cruising down MoPac or West Sixth Street on Friday night scoping babes out. But the problem I have with Miatas is one that I can’t explain. Like if someone were to gift me a Miata, I’d absolutely take it. But I’d never trade my ’06 Chevrolet Impala in for one. I’ve alluded to the fact that I am in no way, shape or form a “car guy.” I simply have no interest in how they work. I can check/change my own oil and put a spare tire on my car if I happen to run over a piece of glass or a nail, but beyond that, I look at cars as a way to get from point A to point B.
Let me tell you a little something about the 2006 Chevy Impala. It’s a hell of a machine and it’s been nothing but good to me. But I’m bored. I want a change. And I think that change could be in the form of a 2001 Chevy S-10. I don’t need a Toyota Tundra. I blog for a living, it’s not like I’m hauling two by fours and cement to and from work every day. I see the S-10 and I think of one word: modest. Nothing too flashy for me. No, sir. I’m just a lunch pail and thermos type of guy. An S-10 gives off a blue collar vibe that directly clashes with everything I stand for and hope to be. The S-10 tells people I crush Pabst Blue Ribbon on the regular even though I’d much prefer a glass of cabernet sauvignon because it’s autumn and that’s what you do when the leaves start to change. With my budding interest in surfing the S-10 sports enough room in the bed for a nice 5-fin board if I want to head down to the gulf for a weekend. Plus, I think hopping out of an S-10 wearing Uggs and some tailored sweatpants from Lululemon would be fucking hilarious. Am I insufferable? A walking, talking contradiction? Yes, most definitely. But to quote the great Terrell Owens, “I love me some me.”.