Monthly Archives: November 2015


Box Truck Memories

When I graduated from college I drove a delivery truck for a wholesale flower distributor in Connecticut. The year I spent driving this truck was a great driving educational experience. For one thing, the box truck I drove was larger than anything I had driven before so I needed to become more vigilant about my surroundings than I had to be with the Ford Escort I normally drove. The truck had no rear view mirror because the truck’s storage area blocked any possible view of what was behind me. As such I had to rely primarily upon the truck’s side mirrors. I drove the truck through all four seasons. Navigating the truck through snow taught me how to react properly in slippery conditions. I had to learn how to find the various flower shops on my delivery route. This sharpened my sense of direction and spatial intuition which is a skill that is becoming rarer in the age of the GPS. As an aside, I have definitely noticed this ability has atrophied since I started to rely on GPS.

Another thing I learned while driving that box truck was how to deal with other people. People are intimidated by vehicles larger than their own. When I had to change lanes on the highway people were more apt to get out of my way than they would if I was driving my Ford Escort. Other people were more aggressive for some reason. One time while making a delivery in Greenwich, Connecticut I was in the process of pulling into a diagonal parking space on a downhill slope. The road had a bunch of other shops on it and was pretty busy. While I pulled into an open spot a woman tried to get to the spot before I did by pulling up into the blind spot on the right side. I felt my truck come in contact with her car and stopped immediately. A police officer was soon on the scene and the woman tried to blame the accident on me. I noticed that the bumper of her BMW that came into contact with my truck was held on by silver duct tape.

All that was long ago and now I split my time between Washington DC and Salt Lake City. So what is the point of this story? No point really except to treat every new experience as a chance to learn. Also do not forget to remain vigilant when driving  lest you need the assistance of an auto body repair shop in Salt Lake City.

2015 Lincoln MKC

Car Karma

If you have purchased a used car in Salt Lake City you may have sat in the front seat after the transaction is complete and looked at the odometer. There are likely thousands of miles registered all driven by some person other than you. You might wonder who drove the car and where did they go? Did they use the car to commute to and from a job that they hated? Perhaps the prior owner was a salesperson with a large territory who loved the open road. Were the prior owners a miserable married couple with two screaming kids in the back seat? Or perhaps the car was owned by good looking, newly married spouses, optimistic with their whole lives ahead of them. Did the car have more than one prior owner? What other states and cities has the car driven through?

Was the car purchased by the dealer at an auction or was it traded in by someone who once bought it new? Was the car in a horrible accident? ?as it used in the commission of a crime or has its existence prior to your ownership been fairly uneventful?

Some of this information you can get by ordering a car history report but most of it you will never know. After the transaction you have legal title to the car which means you can pretty much do what you want with it. But legal title does not mean that you know everything about the car. Much of its history and karma (carma?) is shrouded in mystery. Will you respect this mystery? Will you simply shrug your shoulders in the face of this mystery? Will you even give this mystery a moment’s thought? The choice is yours and most likely you have more pressing issues on which to focus your attention. But that does not mean that the mystery is not there. It is simply an aspect of your new, used car with no intrinsic importance except the importance you assign it in your mind.