"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Friday, March 30, 2012

In Praise of "The Beater"

It's no joke that we run our cars into the ground around here.  SM's minivan is the new kid on the block and even that's got 110K on it.  My 13 yo Jeep just hit the 240K mark. 

And then there's "The Beater."  So named cause we beat it up every chance we get and we don't care that we do!"

We live in a pretty normal suburban neighborhood and while you can mostly find practical, middle class vehicles like Honda's and a few upper crusty cars like Lexus's, there are plenty of working class people with pickup trucks here in the hood.  

But no one has a pickup quite like mine.

Our Beater wheezes and chirps like she's taking her last breath.  She pulls constantly to the right and badly needs an alignment.  One of the side mirrors is busted and gone.  She never gets a bath unless it rains and she's filthy inside and out and filled with tons of SM's work crap.

But everyone around us knows that if they need to haul something to or from their house all they have to do is ask.  "The Beater" is available to everyone.  No questions asked.  Smack it around.  Scrape it up.  We don't care.

The engine on this thing still turns over with the flick of a key.  That's all I ask.  Her tires flatten under the weight of a yard of compost.  We'll drive slowly back to the house at 30 miles an hour with far younger, flashier cars lining up behind us waiting for us to turn off the road.

She's 16 years old and has who knows how many miles on her since her odometer broke a long, long time ago.

I used to drive her to work back when gas was cheap.  She's too much of a gas hog to do that now.  I remember people always gave me a wide berth.  It didn't matter if I was chugging down the road or parking it in the lot.  All those fussy, fancy cars stayed far, far away from my beat up old truck.

That's right.  I'm big and I'm bad.  I'm not too pretty, but I get the job done.  I'm old and busted.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.


  1. LOL-we have the polar opposite--we have "Mini"--the TINIEST pickup you'll ever see. It a japanese work truck--so unbelievably cute its unreal--but it has a dump bed on it and we use it for everything around here. And get this---50 MPG.
    Yep. We fill it up once a month. If it weren't so tiny, I'd drive it to the grocery store, but I'd have to put the food in the bed....where the manure went. No thanks.

  2. Every "farm girl" needs a truck like that! Drive her proudly. (Our "newest" vehicle is 19 years old and my beloved Toyota Tercel is 27 years old.)

  3. I love old beaters, they have character!

  4. Oh that's a delightful post. Really enjoyed meeting your Beater and knowing her history. Can't beat it!!

  5. Love my beater: Dodge Dakota...little guy with big huevos!

  6. Your "beater" is a diamond in the rough. Love old trucks like that. They are so useful.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead