What do full-sized pickup trucks and peacocks have in common?
Associated Press reminds us that things are still looking bad for U.S. car manufacturers:
The U.S. auto industry’s slump hit GM hard in March, when the struggling automaker’s sales fell almost 15 percent as rival Toyota reported its highest-ever monthly sales.
But, not all is lost:
Still, Ford’s F-Series truck held its own, posting a 5.5 percent increase for the month, its best March sales since 2000, with 84,168 sold. Ford said it was the third consecutive month sales rose for the nation’s best-selling vehicle.
The peacock is a walking billboard. He looks the way he does thanks to female selection pressure. Nature is filled with examples of males evolving unique behaviors and even shapes to please the ladies. Certainly a peahen does not consciously prefer that look. The look is indicative in some way of reproductive success, and that success over time begets the female preference.
Other male birds attract females by building nests that include shiny objects. The strategy only works because the females are attracted to shiny objects. Bower birds with duller than normal plumage build the most elaborate nests, in what may be an attempt to overcome their dullness.
Guys buy big, shiny trucks mainly for one reason: Advertising has convinced them that females are attracted to those who drive big, shiny trucks. Yes, yes, some people need full-sized pickup trucks for their livelihood. I’m talking about the other 99%. Few would admit to, or are even cognizant of, buying a brand spanking new, cherry red, pulsating Dodge “Ram“, Nissan “Titan,“, Ford “F” 150, or “like a rock” Chevy to advertise their sexual prowess. No, no, we need them to haul stuff. Renting a truck once or twice a year to haul stuff would be too much hassle.
I’m letting women off the hook here, assuming they are not really attracted to guys who drive big, shiny trucks. These dudes have been duped. Who knows — given a few thousand years, men susceptible to bogus advertising might be weeded from the gene pool.
SUV drivers catch most of our ire. We tend to give those cruising around in full-sized pickup trucks a little more slack. But if we are going to criticize people who use a sport utility vehicle for commuting or soccer-mom activities, we should also criticize those who drive trucks just for show. Full-sized pickup trucks are in most respects even worse than SUVs, including Hummers. They tend to be bigger, longer, have more powerful engines, and get even worse gas mileage. Most don’t even have the capacity to carry four to six people, although the trend lately has been to add four doors to increase their utility.
So now you have all these huge four-door trucks with little tiny beds stuck on the butt end, that can’t haul so much as a piece of plywood. To keep the junk in the tiny truck bed dry, you add a camper cover. You now have what amounts to a huge SUV with a gigantic turning radius disguised as a truck.
Buy them if you want, but be aware that some of us find your attempts to garner attention … humorous. That doesn’t mean much coming from another guy. I might just be jealous. But why are those women smiling at you in your big, growling, diesel, ram-tough 4 x 4? Don’t be so sure they’re flirting.