Friday, 27 March 2009

Things Alaskans like: Trucks

It is a little known fact that every vehicle in Alaska is a truck. There are no non-trucks owned by Alaskans, even in Anchorage. Trucks are nice because they allow Alaskans to haul large amounts of stuff, and have a bulit-in limit to the number of people they will seat. This way, if people ask for a ride to Manly Hot Springs, you can go `oh, gee, I'd love to, but I can only fit this number of people in my truck.` This works especially well with hitchhikers, if you keep a bag of salt with you that you can set on the passenger seat. Oops! No room!

Aside from denying people rides, trucks are also good at being one of two vehicle types that can drive like an angry mob is after it in the dead of winter (the other being SUVs). It's a scientific fact that anything with four wheel drive can be driven at speeds up to 90 miles an hour on snow and ice without any consequences. Most Alaskans choose not to use this feature except for when they have very far to drive on a highway such as the Haul Road. There is a rule that says the further you are from repair, the faster you're allowed to drive; they test you on this rule before they let you drive in Alaska.

If you want to make conversation with an Alaskan, try discussing trucks. It doesn't matter if you don't know anything about trucks. Say you don't like a new model of a truck, because it looks sissified. This is subjective enough that anyone could argue for or against it. You don't actually have to know what the truck looks like.

Almost every truck has a tow package, but very few trucks tow things. It is important to be able to tow something, even if you never do. What would happen if someone said, "Quick, tow this boat to the river!"? They would know you're not an Alaskan if you didn't have that tow package, wouldn't they! Most people buy trucks so they can haul things in the truck bed. I think everyone in the cities must haul things at night, because they don't haul things in the day, and I tend to sleep at night.

Alaskan trucks do not need oil changes.

In order to be street legal, trucks must have at least one crack in the windshield. Otherwise, you must drive your truck on back roads (What Alaskans call `highways`) until another truck throws a rock at you, and then you can drive in towns. In the winter, your license plate must be caked in snow by law. In the summer, your front license plate must be covered bug guts. You're allowed to own any make of truck (Tundras and F150s are popular), but if it's over 10 years old, you must have one part of your truck that doesn't match the rest of your truck. This is Alaskan law, too.

You're not allowed to trade in your truck. No Alaskan would, even if it was legal. Alaskans hold on to their trucks forever, keeping them in a special place near their homes with various other metal things that are important to them. Like old stoves, and fridges.

Trucks are so popular that people off the road system get them too. Someone in Emo got a truck barged in, and one day drove it down the river. Yes, it would have been cheaper to ride a snowmachine pulling a sled, and faster, and more reliable, and easier to fix, and more useful. And, technically, there are no roads. But the villages like to feel Alaskan too, and that means buying a truck to let it sit around, slowly rust out, and sink into the mud.

You're only allowed a Volvo stationwagon if you claim you once fit a snowmachine in there.

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