For the Love of Chitty

We can never get rid of our pickup Chitty.

Despite the truck’s obstinate starting. Despite the lack of seat belts.

The broken fuel gauge. The busted dials.

Take your foot off the gas and the truck idles at 10 miles per hour.

Despite all these failings…

Chitty has personality.

He’s more of a pet than a pickup truck.

“Chitty’s my favorite,” Hadley announced one day. Unprompted. “But I feel sorry for Chitty.”

I was driving our pigsy Toyota at the time. “Why?” I asked.

“Because,” she said, “the car and Big Rig make fun of Chitty. They say: ‘Nobody wants to drive you because you’re so old.'”

I had no idea that this bullying was taking place.

So today we left the gator in the barn. Martin fired up Chitty and guided him up the drive.

On these low-speed, off-road excursions we abandon all pretense of safety. Cayden and Hadley jump in the flatbed, squinting at the winter sun and feeling the wind in their hair.

Maisie perches in the cab and Martin hangs an arm out the window. And everyone is happy.

Especially Chitty.