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Dumps like a truck, truck, truck...


Driving north on the MoPac expressway, in early afternoon traffic, trying to get to that place where it meets with I-35.

Sometimes fate announces itself, like a tickle of hair on the back of the neck or a wayward wind that shouldn't be there. Other times, it's like dropping a hair dryer in the bathtub - you have no idea that your life (and your hair) is about to be changed forever.

It was that kind of unannounced on this day, when I was to meet the beast.
Traffic was just starting to back up. It was that moment, probably the hottest of the day, even in late October. It was without warning. We were suddenly behind it. It towered before my low-to-the-ground Hyundai like a steel elephant, a rampaging rabid beast that wanted my blood and my car's oil.
Behold. It is… Dumpasaurus.

I do not know where Dumpasaurus came from. I don't know where Dumpasaurus was going except North. My guess? Dumpasaurus was wandering the hill country, restlessly searching for belonging among the pick-up trucks and SUVs that crawl along the highways.

The thing is, and maybe Dumpasaurus doesn't know this yet -- because it is a harsh lesson that many don't discover until late in life, even if they are made of steel and city stickers -- Dumpasaurus will never belong. It will never be loved by a pretty VW Bug, or accepted in a parking lot full of Honda Civics. Dumpasaurus was meant to trog along the land alone, the cute mudflaps offering it little escape from a life of isolation.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Dumpasaurus. Dumpasaurus could kick my ass, my car's ass, the bumper asses of all the cars I and my family have ever owned. It wouldn't even be a contest. Dumpasaurus would just back its Dump Ass over and cover us all with mountains of rubble. Then it would back over the rubble, wallowing in its own dirt-feces, shaming us with its heft. I'm sure Dumpasaurus wouldn't really want it that way, but if backed into a huge corner, I bet Dumpasaurus would defend itself or its supposed loved ones.

For instance: If Dumpasaurus had children, L'il Dumpys they might be called, I could see Dumpasaurus revving its engine in fury, crashing again and again, grill flaring, into whatever jackass decided to mess with kin of Dumpasaurus.

Here's where I feel sorry for the beast: Everyone imagines those scenarios, the ways in which Dumpasaurus can destroy and main and kill. Everyone sees it as a beast, a monster, a bastard conflagration of metal and menace.
Perhaps Dumpasaurus never wanted it this way. In the sparkplugs and intake valves of dreaming, Dumpasaurus wishes it could be a school bus, peacefully rolling toward a school every day. Dumpasaurus might wish to be reincarnated as a double-decker bus in England, taking jolly punks to record stores and fussy businessmen to work alike.

What do you dream about, Dumpasaurus? I really want to know.
I see you plowing down the highway, and I know that you're a gentle beast. I don't know how I know that, but I feel it, as surely as I feel the slight groan in the road as you pass. I took a picture of you, awed as I was, aiming the camera as I drove behind you, awash in your fart/fumes.

Dumpasaurus, I may be the first to say it, but I'm not embarrassed. I love you, Dumpasaurus. I love your big-ass, bulky hulk of a frame. I love that you wear your name like a badge of something resembling honor, if there is such a thing as honor among gargantuan vehicles.

If we cross paths again, I will honk at you, not out of annoyance, but out of respect and admiration. I know it can't be easy being Dumpasaurus. It can't be easy hauling all that boron.

When you hear my honk, recognize it for the love it represents.

Hear my call, Dumpasaurus.

Hear my love.


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