Yukoners, be warned before you sell that truck and go hybrid: keep in mind that Whitehorse is a truck town.
I learned that my first week here, several years ago.
Everywhere I looked … big truck, little truck, medium-sized truck.
Trucks with mud flaps, trucks with big wheels, trucks with roof racks, gun racks … any racks.
Trucks that pull big trailers or big boats or big ATVs.
Trucks that make loud noises and even ones that shoot flames out their exhaust.
No word of a lie.
Recently, I saw a truck shoot flames and I am not talking of the Zippo lighter variety. These were impressively large.
It was Canada Day, during the parade, and lo and behold there was a truck, jacked right to the nines, engine revved to capacity and flames billowing out with each ever-increasing rev down Main Street.
I recall gazing dumbfounded as a young child attempted to retrieve some candy that had been thrown moments earlier by a clown on a tricycle.
Visions of that infamous Michael Jackson Pepsi-commercial-gone-bad pinballed through my head as I watched the kid unknowingly move closer and closer to the adult-sized fire-breathing Tonka truck.
No, Michael! I screamed silently as gasoline filled the air and flames hovered above.
Thankfully, the candy-starved youth thought better of his decision and retreated to his mother’s awaiting arms.
Yes, the trucks and their owners garner the utmost respect here in the Yukon capital city.
I did not realize this fully until I sold my Nissan Pathfinder, which, technically, is not a truck but still worthy of a little esteem from the “real” Yukon truck owners.
I was looking to save some gas and purchase a vehicle that was both more environmentally friendly and good on fuel.
After some pondering, I decided upon a Toyota Celica: 1989, white in colour, flip-up lights, power sunroof … best described by close friends and family as a “chachi-mobile”.
Chachi: to wear a golf shirt with a flipped-up collar as you point and wink while referring to most as “bud” (please note: not an official Webster’s Dictionary approved definition).
Chachi or not, the car has been not only great for the planet, but also my pocketbook, as well. Unfortunately, it turns out chachi-mobiles do not garner the respect that the Pathfinder/truck did here in the Great White North.
This first became apparent during a mid-April blizzard last spring.
While I was still in the car, a man in a truck swung open his door, not a care in the world, and dented my passenger door.
Did he stop to apologize or even look my way?
After travelling throughout New Zealand and Mexico, it was quite the welcome-home gift.
Another testament to the truck-town prophecy is the sea of dents that now decorate the Celica. Caught in the right light, at least two dozen are visible to the naked eye.
The chachi-hatred reached a crescendo last month when two patrons outside a local tavern decided to throw one another into the Celica’s driver’s-side door, possibly as a show of strength and utter manliness.
While achieving so in their minds, it left the Chachi with a very significant dent.
My point is, before you decide to trade in your truck or Pathfinder and purchase that Smart Car or even Chachi-mobile, remember Whitehorse is a truck town.