Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


May 11, 2014

Car toys and joys

So, last weekend the Raminator came to Corsicana.

The Raminator is a public relations monster truck that spent the weekend at Berry Chrysler giving people rides, and letting them take photos next to the ginormous tires.

Although I drive a 12-year-old Sentra which would have probably fit underneath the Raminator, I had to admit it was pretty cool.

Getting into the Raminator means climbing up a ladder on the back and sliding through the window into the cab. I didn’t ride in it, although I’d have driven it if they had offered. They didn’t offer.

The plus side of having a Raminator, according to the guys with Hall Brothers Racing who own it, is that it’s fun to drive, and that makes for a cool job. On the downside, no a/c, GPS, or seat warmers in the thing. I’ve already sworn that my next vehicle will have seat warmers. My tushie deserves it.

What amused me most was that there are five Raminators, and this one was “Number 8.” When the driver told me that, I just looked at him and blinked. Old Raminators get retired, he explained. I think they should be more creative in the naming of the Raminators, kind of like the pilots during WW II used to name their planes after their sweethearts. Belle or Mae, or whatever. I mean, for a modern age that means the Raminators would be named “Kristi” or “Tiffany,” but at least it would be better than Number 8.

Perhaps inspired by my brush with mechanical marvels, I went to a Pick N Pull last Saturday, which is a salvage yard where you can find a junked-out version of your car, then scavenge the part you need.

After paying our admission fee and getting our hands stamped as if it were a nightclub, we were released into this vast dusty field of picked-over vehicles in various states of being skeletonized with roaming bands of amateur mechanics — almost all male — wandering around it. It was handy guy Disneyland.

I took my sister, who’s better with tools than I, and my little fishing tackle box o’ tools, which is frankly better equipped for hanging a picture on the wall than taking cars apart.

Being the token estrogenites was good because when I couldn’t get a part loose, I just nabbed the first passing guy and he immediately jumped in there to help us out with the correct tools.

OK, so I didn’t exactly pull my own part, but it was my idea and I did wield several tools, badly, so I’m taking credit.

Still, the Raminator has nothing to fear from my Sentra. I very wisely didn’t even try to install the part I got. I took it to my mechanic for that. He owns a thing called a “wrench.”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at

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