Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top 5/Bottom 5 things I loved about my old 2004 Toyota Tacoma

(Editors note: Not actual truck)

A momentous achievement was reached on the final day of 2010 with the purchase of a brand new 2011 Toyota Tacoma. 

So with it came the close of another era of vehicle driving in the life of John and Melissa Vittas. 

Still, often times you cannot look forward without looking back. So with that in mind, allow me to present to you my Top 5 and Bottom 5 things I loved about my now gone 2004 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner. 

5. (Anytime the truck was used to help a friend move something big
Most people who know me (James, I'm looking in your direction) know that I'm typically the guy to lend a hand in a pinch. More often than not, that pinch involved moving many boxes of things, or one or two large and painstakingly heavy things from one place to another. This is where having a truck came in handy to accompany another truck, car, van, rickshaw, camel, or whatever the other mode of transportation was. 

I never minded lending a hand either. That's how much I love you jerks guys.

4. The time I got pulled over for speeding in White Settlement and was honest and polite to the officer, and didn't get a ticket
I don't remember how fast I was going, let's say 40 in a 30 mph zone. And I knew I was caught when I saw the police officer in his cruiser in a parking lot alongside the road, so I pulled into a side street and waited for the long arm of the law to come and deliver his swift hand of justice. When he arrived, and inquired as to why I was speeding, I was honest: It was a Friday, it had been a long week at work, and I was just looking forward to going home. That was the long and short of it. 

In return, I got a "Have a nice day" and "Be careful", and that was it. 

So what do you think I did? 

Turned up the Todd Rundgren and floored it. (Just kidding.)

3. Taking the dogs to the dog park
Seeing those two lovable creatures get all fired up about getting to run around with a bunch of strange was both cute and annoying at the same time (more on that in a minute.)

2. The first time we drove to the coast
It was the first time the truck got a whiff of salty sea air and a front grill and interior full of sand, but it was well worth it and I got an exhilarating thrill driving up and down the beach. All we needed was a giant confederate flag on a flag pole attached to the truck bed and we would have blended in completely. 

1. The day it was bought
I felt like a proud Papa driving off the lot, even if it did have 16,000 miles on it already. More like a proud stepfather I guess. 

5. Taking the dogs to the dog park, or anywhere for that matter
Don't get me wrong, I love our pets and consider them parts of our family. But they also shed like there's no tomorrow, and turned the back seat of that truck into an ad for the Hairclub For Men. The windows also developed a film on the glass the likes of which that film you see on the top of a stagnant lake has never seen. 

Not saying this won't soon happen in the new truck. I know it will, it's just a matter of time. 

4. Getting rear-ended
In hindsight, it wasn't really that big a deal for me. This is especially true if you were to have seen the damage done to the little two-door Honda coupe that hit me and suffered massive radiator damage, among other things. But I had to deal with the annoyance of knowing I had an ever-so slightly bent bumper and people who stared at the back of my truck for longer than two seconds trying to pinpoint exactly what looked wrong. 

Still, we did get a check for $800 from State Farm, so I guess this one can't be all that bad.

3. Driving back to my house with Robert after the Rangers lost the World Series
Because as much as we wanted to be cheerful about such a fantastic and memorable run, it was still a somber mood inside of that truck for that 3 minute trip back to our house. 

2. The time Lacy threw up on the backseat
There are few more  hopeless feelings in the world than when you're cruising down the highway with a dog in the backseat, and hearing that familiar esophageal hiccuping/suppressing vomit noise coming from behind you (dog owners know exactly what I'm talking about right now, and may have just gotten grossed out a little). THEN, as you're pulling off the highway and into someplace where you can begin some kind of semblance of of cleaning up the dog vomit, having still more vomit be deposited on the back seat and floorboard. 


1. The XM radio
This is kind of a double-edged sword for me. I loved having satellite radio and greatly enjoyed all the fine programming it had to offer. But I also had a very annoying setup that wouldn't allow me to listen to any kind of terrestrial radio at all when it was firmly attached to the cradle on the console. It got so that I had to start unhooking things if there was a Rangers game or something else I wanted to listen to on regular radio, and looked very, well, tacky. 

This is not a problem with the new truck, which has built in SiriusXM and a free three-month subscription. 

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