You Can Tell A Lot From What's In the Back of A Man's Pickup

Hoosier Perspectives

It doesn't take Sherlock Homes to reach certain conclusions.

Published on: June 17, 2013

I ran errands the other day, partly for the magazine and partly for the farm. I used my newer truck because I had to drop off the van to get an oil change, so my daughter, who usually drives the truck (she thinks it's hers but she needs to look at the title very closely!) picked me up on her way to watch nursery at Bible School. I dropped her off and took off on my errands from there.

While waiting to pick her up and go back for the van, I happened to notice the variety of items I had accumulated just that morning in the truck bed. There were burlap bags full of ground hog feed. Yes, hogs would be a good guess.

The fact that the sacks were reused, some with the holes taped over, let you know I got it ground at a country elevator. It likely wasn't show feed because someone must have passed a law while no one was looking (How could that ever happen?) that says you must feed show pigs feed that comes in pretty bags and costs more per bag than a good steak dinner.

You would be very deductive. This was feed for meat pigs, which runs about $10 per bag. Nothing is too cheap for them!

Then I noticed three red cans of gasoline and a yellow, newer can. The smell from that can was diesel fuel. So the person must need gas for a lawnmower and diesel for a newer tractor. Right on both counts. The fact that none of the three gas cans were alike or had the same kind of spout meant they were bought at different times, and only bought after others wore out. Right again!

Finally, there was a hodge-podge of vegetable plants in the bed. There was one large tomato, one smaller tomato plant, a couple zucchini, and a pepper plant. I've never bought vegetables this late in my life and never paid that much for a tomato plant. Seems as if my daughter didn't realize I hadn't planted a garden, and wanted to complete her 10th and final year in gardening. I needed something that could produce fruit in four weeks. The big plant already had small fruit on it.

Some guy that passed me in the parking lot quipped "You may have tomatoes before you get home!"

"Hope so," I answered. After all, that was the idea.

Another deduction: Since my daughter didn't know until early June that we didn't have a garden, she probably didn't help much in the past. Right again, Watson! She shows up to help less each year.

Actually the truth is the old farm truck I like to drive best is sitting in the barn yard with a camper shell on it, full of trash picked up before our daughter's high school graduation party we had here. It's waiting to go to the dump. The fact that my personal truck is full of trash somehow seems appropriate! Just ask anyone who's seen my office!

And oh yes, there was one more thing in the back of the new truck. A six-pack of petunias, which I bought to replace ones that died in a basket I bought for my wife for Mother's Day. See, I do have a soft side!

So what's in the back of your truck? What does it say about you?