I first realized that I was in a monster truck when I foolishly attempted to drive down a normal residential street. There I was: surrounded by leather and wood, stereo playing, cooled seat cooling, sitting at approximately eye-level with television news choppers.
And there, somewhere down below, was everyone else. Normal citizens, walking around like Lego people, largely unaware that I had invaded their city. They would see me coming and they'd pull to the side, like I was driving some sort of brightly colored emergency vehicle with the lights blaring, and if I didn't get to the hospital right away, little Timmy wasn't going to make it.
But I wasn't in an emergency vehicle. I was in the 2014 Toyota Tundra. And the 2014 Toyota Tundra is huge.
I first realized that the Tundra is enormous when the press car people came to drop it off last week. I don't have much experience with trucks, so I eagerly grabbed the keys, climbed inside, cranked it up, and immediately thought: Why is the interior ORANGE? I mean, seriously. The thing looks like it was upholstered with basketballs.
But then I went for a drive, and that's when I found out that the Tundra is gigantic. This realization didn't come right away. Instead, it took a few seconds to really sink in. I think it hit me somewhere between mounting my first curb and the moment when I drove over my neighbor's recyclables.
Yes, it's true: the Tundra is monstrous – a fact I've covered in depth throughout the video you see below. Because of that, I'm going to use this column to report on an even greater societal issue, namely that all of today's pickup trucks are absolutely enormous.
To fully illustrate my position, I must first detail each of the six full-size pickups currently available on today's market. In addition to the Tundra, they are, in no particular order, the Chevrolet Troop Transporter, the GMC Hunting Lodge, the Ford Gun Slinger, the RAM Democrat Eater, and also that Nissan that nobody buys. Collectively, these are six of the largest vehicles you can purchase that do not require you to become "RV people" and drive slowly on the interstate while towing your Saturn Vue.
But while they're not RVs, today's full-size pickups do include a lot of equipment, such as headlights the size of teenagers, and engines so large they'd make Bambi cry, if only he wasn't rotting in the bed with the rest of his friends on the way back from a successful hunt.
So anyway, now that we've covered the trucks, it's time to report on the dimensions. While you may think I've used up all the synonyms for "large" in the first half of this column, I have not. Technically speaking, these trucks are colossal, gargantuan, humongous, immense, mammoth, towering, and vast. They are even cyclopean, which I am told is a synonym for big, though it's probably only used by the kind of smarmy assholes who call people "erudite."
Anyway: before you accuse me of exaggerating, just wait: I have some actual facts to support my position. Take the Ford Gun Slinger, for instance. If you get the most cyclopean model – which includes a front row of seats, a back row of seats, a huge grille, a large bed, and a Ford emblem that's bigger than most entrees at Outback Steakhouse – your vehicle is nearly 21 feet long. In other words: it's the same length as a Toyota Camry with Tom Cruise strapped to the back, horizontally, like an enormous tow hitch with an expensive haircut.
Now, this wouldn't be so bad if people would use pickup trucks for their intended purpose: to cruise around on East Texas cattle ranches and shoot small animals. But they don't. Instead, people drive these trucks – which are highly cyclopean, if you ask me – on normal roads, with normal cars, and normal pedestrians, who could probably take up residence in the fog light housings.
Now, if you've read this far, you probably agree that the increasing size of pickups is a national tragedy of cyclopean proportions, and it should be dealt with immediately. To do this, I suggest a nationwide call to arms. We should get MAD! We should get EVEN! We should write to our SENATOR! But first, we should watch my video.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.