This morning as I was driving my children to school, I spotted a pickup trucks with what are commonly called “truck nuts,” a pair of anatomically correct testicles. (Or as anatomically correct as shiny silver things can be).
I’d heard of them before but had never actually seen a pair. I live in a nice, liberal suburb of New York City, not exactly the demographic for pickup trucks to begin with. I was hard-pressed to imagine which of my neighbors would find themselves motivated to scour the Internet for just the right set of shiny silver male genitalia, then lovingly affix them to the hitch of their pickup truck.
What was most surprising was not that the balls had shown up three blocks from my house, but that my reaction to them was so visceral. I had immediate fantasies of castrating the truck, sneaking off in the middle of the night to grab the shiny things and disappear them into the sewer (Freudians, go on and have your field day). I mentally mocked the man who’d hung them so proudly: Do you think that if this three-ton machine were to have testicles, they’d be the size of YOURS?. They were really uncovering the Victorian pearl-clutching lady in me and I didn’t know why.
Taking to the Googles to find out if my outrage had precedent, I learned that reaction to truck nuts (also known as CargoNads, Drive-thru Danglers, Trucksticles, HitchNuggets and, in the UK, Bumper Bollocks) has been mixed. Calling them “vulgar and immoral,” a Maryland politician proposed a bill prohibiting motorists from “displaying anything resembling or depicting ‘anatomically correct’ or ‘less than completely and opaquely covered’ human or animal genitals, human buttocks or female breasts. (Boy, I’d like to read the constitutional challenge to THAT law). Similar measures have also popped up in Virginia, Florida and South Carolina, which gives us a hint of where this practice is rampant enough to warrant legislation.
I can’t say that the sight of dangling faux trucksticles is any more welcome after reading all that, but information is power. As with most things in life, I concluded that the best thing to do with these balls was to let them go. I drove by them three more times (for perfectly legitimate reasons, I assure you) and found them slightly less offensive each time. I noted their delicacy and wondered if the truck would crumple to the ground in agony after getting rear-ended. In short, I made peace with the nuts. It was liberating.