There’s a reason why American men drive big pickup trucks: Women dig them.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, a new poll by Insure, an independent consumer insurance website, found that women think attractive men are most likely to be driving a pickup truck.
The survey asked 2,000 men and women what type, brand and color of vehicle is driven by the “most fetching members of the opposite sex.” Ladies reported that desirable men are more likely to be driving, specifically, a black Ford truck - not a minivan or hybrid.
It would appear that the truck, which was once a purely utilitarian vehicle used by farmers and workmen, now lends cachet to many modern males, who make their living in a service economy and wouldn’t know the first thing about getting their hands dirty.
Many younger men now purchase trucks, then, as that is their only hope to model themselves after their fathers and grandfathers, who likely provided for their families by working “manly” jobs that required brawn, craftsmanship and guts.
Guys like John Wayne and Steve McQueen represented my father’s era - tough guys who were men of action, not words.
But which celebrities represent the modern era? Johnny Depp? Leonardo DiCaprio? McQueen could whip them both at the same time with both his arms tied behind his back.
That’s why suburban men buy trucks.
A truck is a beautiful thing. It is simple and useful - like our dads and granddads were. Trucks are tough, sturdy and reliable. Sure, they get poor mileage and the ride is bumpy, but when the weather gets bad or you need to tow, haul or pull something, there is no better vehicle.
A suburban man can live vicariously through a truck. He sees himself cutting and hauling wood on autumn days. He dreams of pulling strangers’ vehicles out of ruts along country roads. He expects to become a hunter one day and drive deep into the woods - across brooks and over rocks - in search of a big buck.
It doesn’t matter that he will never do any of these things. One of my suburban friends paid $50,000 for his truck. Its low gears and big tires are designed for the roughest terrain, but he would never take it into the woods.
“I don’t want to scratch it,” he told me.
I can see the utility in owning a big 4x4 truck, but don’t have one. A few years ago, I moved back to a house I own in the country, where many men still work with their hands and know how to fix just about anything.
Well, while I was working in the yard last summer, my wheelbarrow got a flat. I loaded it into my sedan and drove it up the hill to my neighbor’s house. He has lots of tools and he and his friends work on trucks. When they saw me hauling a wheelbarrow with a flat tire in a mid-sized foreign car, I think they were more embarrassed than I was.
It didn’t help that I am the only driver of a four-dour Japanese sports car that has a gun rack in the rear window.
In any event, it all makes sense that women associate attractive men with black Ford trucks. What is more traditionally American than a Ford?
Maybe I will get one soon.
Then I can dream of Saturdays when I’ll rise early and drive to the diner. I’ll wear a Caterpillar ballcap and eat three eggs sunny side up. I won’t talk to anyone, because I’ll have little to say. Then I’ll drive to the landscape center, order three yards of mulch and haul it home.
If I can stomach putting mulch into a $50,000 vehicle.
Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.