Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Grog All Lit Up"

The other night I stopped in Walcott, IA for the night. Huge mistake. See, that's the largest truck stop in the world. It's big, it's beautiful and it's full of trucker stuff. Trucker stuff is pretty. Shiny chrome, lights, accessories we don't need, some I wanted and didn't even know what they were for. 
There's a chrome and light section on one side. They've got a couple of fancy show trucks over there and I was drawn like a moth to flame. So was Grog. 
I've spent a LOT of money on making my truck run extremely well. There are faster, more powerful trucks than mine but very very few of them, I assure you. After nearly 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars spent on performance upgrades it's time to start working on the cosmetics. 

"Ooohhh. Stars! Grog want to see! Looks like fire but no hurt when touch. Grog must have this!"  Easy, killer, let's just look around a bit. We can come back to this section later. Oh, and those are called lights doofus. 
"No! Grog want look at these tall shiny things. Look, Grog can see himself in them. So shiny!" Yeah yeah. Those are exhaust pipes. Look, let's go get something to eat first. It's been a long day. "No! Grog no eat until Grog see more light/stars! Wait. Grog smell Taco Bell. Can we eat and look at same time?" Dude. This stuff will be here afterward. C'mon. Please. Our stomach is growling. People are starting to stare and point. We sound like a gassy water buffalo. Food first, toys later. Geez. 

"Grog let you order food but we better come back for light stars. Grog want see more." Yes. We can shop after we eat. It's bad to shop on an empty stomach, it makes you buy stuff you don't need. 
"Hmpf. Grog need light stars even if Grog not hungry. You get light stars or I no let you sleep." Hey, idiot, they're just called lights. No star. Just lights. And quit rocking back and forth while you're looking. 

As it turns out Taco Bell was actually underwhelming this time. Grog had been right, we needed to shop a little. So we headed back downstairs and that inner caveman made a beeline for the most expensive stuff he could find. (I don't know why they call it a beeline. Every see how bees give directions? It's like they've got epilepsy.) 

Mentally elbowing Grog aside a minute, I approach the salesman. "Excuse me, sir. I'm interested in some exhaust pipes. I want to put straight pipes on. I think 7 inch will do." So he takes me for a little walk to show me the "Lincoln chrome" pipes. Triple dipped in chrome, rustproof and eternally shiny. Hhmm. $675 per pipe, per side. Plus the elbows for $411 per side. Hmm, indeed. 
Grog was positively glowing by then. I'm sure it was him that was tapping his feet in excitement. We were like a fat kid in a donut factory. 
"Um. I'll also need a resonator. (That goes under the truck and serves as a muffler of sorts since I won't have one on each pipe anymore). And I suppose I'll have to get new clamps and flex tube?" As it turns out, it'll take 5 weeks to have the new pipes delivered to my house. After a few measurements we aren't sure if the new, larger elbows will work so we order pipes that'll fit the old ones. 

As I hand the guy cash Grog is nearly ready to faint. I went in for Taco Bell and just spent $3,200 on new exhaust parts. Eh. Spend it on the truck or get taxed on it. I'm fine with this choice. 
From here, though, things got bad. Grog was pulling me back over to the lights. They had a new thing where I can put lights on my straps that hold my fuel tanks. The display truck had two straps per tank. My truck has three straps per tank. Gotta decorate them all though, right? 
"Grog want this. Truck look better with light sta...lights. Can we put lights tonight? Pleeeease?" No. Not tonight. Did you not just see what I just laid out for your stupid exhaust pipes? 
"Truck will sound like wooly mammoth farting though, right? Truck will sound like Sabretooth roar? Then this is good. Keep puny car things away from Truck." Yes. Yes it certainly will. You know we're gonna give someone a heart attack with this thing now, right? (For the record here, we've enhanced the performance so much that my truck is already significantly louder than it was before though we've not done any work to the exhaust. With a resonator and straight pipes, especially bigger ones, it's gonna be loud. And beefy. That translates into 'sexy' in trucker speak).
"When heart attacks them they will look to Truck to save them." No. That's not how that works at all. Heart attacks are bad. Control yourself, Grog.

That monkey man simply shrugged his shoulders at me and said "you buy lights now." Nooo. I just told you. One project at a time. We will make a list and do one thing at a time. We were supposed to put new floors and cabinets in until we decided to stop in HERE like idiots. "Ugh. Grog no like you right now." Yeah, join the club. You'll get your lights eventually. Don't you want the air conditioner fixed? 
"No. Grog ride with windows down and listen to Truck. I don't get lights, you don't get cold air." It's always a battle of wills with this guy. It's even harder when we both want the same thing but I've gotta be practical. You think your inner teenager is bad? Try dealing with this bonehead for a while. 

So we made our list. By "we" I mean "I" because he was stuck staring at LED's and shit. Thankfully, I had a minute to think by myself. I'm not much of a "list" person so this was going to be hard enough already. 

Ok. Here goes. Wait until the pipes come in and do the work myself to save a grand or so. Because I'm still miserly. Then fix the air conditioning so it works. Not for comfort but for humidity control. Go out to Texas and get cedar floors and cabinets put in. (I've gotta remember to go over the measurements on the cabinets with that guy). Then put on a new bumper. Order the one with lights to make Grog happy. Get turn signals put on the edges. More lights for Grog. 
Then order the full fenders. I found some nice fiberglass ones I really like. Turns out I've got expensive taste though. Oh look, that seat looks really nice. Oooh. Memory foam too. It's like a hundred tiny Asians massaging my butt. Must have it. That's going on the list. 

The list just kept getting longer. Especially with Grog still staring at lights. He doesn't know it yet but I'm going to order him a bunch of them. The guys at the counter were real excited about handing me 2 catalogs, their cards and a bunch of points on my loyalty card. I'm thinking they're looking forward to more of this loyalty.