7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 51)
There comes a time in every blogger’s life when she sees something amiss in the world and must decide whether or not to use her blogging platform to call it out, even if what she has to say might be unsettling or just too much hard truth for some readers. I have been pondering such a dilemma a long time now, and have decided that it is time for me to raise my voice in a call to action. I have tried to avoid bringing up this subject. I really have. But something must be done, and it is time to speak out. You may want to prepare yourself for what you’re about to read.
OK, let me start over: here in Texas it is popular to spruce up one’s pickup truck by hanging decorations from the trailer hitch on the back. Historically such items have included metal plates painted with the state flag, or perhaps a sculpture of a bluebonnet. In recent years, however, a new trend has come about in which some men (and I don’t mean “men” as in “humankind” but as in “no woman in the history of the world has ever done this”) hang from their trailer hitches a large metal representation of a certain part of the male anatomy. These items are called Trucknutz, and they are rather popular in certain circles. (Warning: That link contains exactly the kind of image you think it contains.)
Anyway, gridlocked traffic left me stuck behind the F-350 and its swinging garniture for about thirty minutes last week, which gave me a lot of time to think about this phenomenon. I recalled the college marketing courses where we learned that every new product is a response to a consumer pain point, e.g. buzzers on dryers a response to “I always forget my laundry in the dryer.” Never could I have imagined that “there are no scrota on my truck” was a consumer pain point.
I’ve been trying to avoid bringing up this subject because…well, I guess that part is obvious…but this is the fourth one I’ve seen recently and I think it’s time for a call to action: What, as a society, are we going to do about Trucknutz?
That last take left me with a dilemma: Should I use my Associates account when linking to the item on Amazon? At first I went with “no” — even though the commission I get from Amazon purchases through my site is minuscule, I’d hate to profit in any way from the sale of such an item — but then my curiosity got the best of me. I thought of those reports that tell you how many people purchased an item you linked to, and I decided that I must know: Is there any overlap between the “people who read Conversion Diary” demographic and the “people who think that representations of genitalia enhance their vehicles” demographic? It is time to find out. I promise I’ll donate any money I make from such purchases to charity.
Oh, wait, turns out I’m not done with that subject yet. I am just waiting — WAITING — for the day that one of my children asks me about this. “Mommy, what is that hanging on the back of that truck?” Or, more perplexingly, what about when my children are at an age when they recognize what it is and ask me WHY it’s there?
In a “What Would Yaya Do?” moment I was thinking that perhaps I could just ask the driver next time I pull up alongside one in a parking lot, but then I realized that I wouldn’t have any idea how to start that conversation. “Excuse me sir, I couldn’t help but notice that you have an, uhh…well, that on the back of your truck there is an, umm…”
I had meant for this Quick Takes edition to be a big rallying cry in which we all join together to fight this scourge, but now it’s occurring to me that this might not be a worldwide phenomenon. Readers in places like Boston or Seattle: How often would one encounter this sort of thing on one’s daily commute in your area? I am going to hazard a guess that these are also not big sellers in Europe. But I don’t want to stereotype. I could be wrong. Maybe people in Europe find, like their cousins here in Texas, that such an adornment is exactly what is missing from their VW Golfs and BMW Minis. I am certain, however, that they’re as popular in Florida as they are here, seeing as how the Senate debated banning them (though one senator objected since he OWNED SOME HIMSELF).
For those of you who are staring at your computer slack-jawed, needing a moment to clear your mind of the countless questions and emotions the previous four takes brought up, here’s a video of some cute kittens riding a vacuum.
Did I really devote the majority of this week’s 7 Quick Takes to what I think I just devoted the majority of this week’s 7 Quick Takes to? Time to step. away. from. the. computer. Maybe I’ll go for a drive. Er, wait, no, might just lead to more trouble. Time to go bury myself in a book.