Paying tribute to dead relatives with suspension lift kits

By: Andrew Bernhardt

Ben Franklin, that crusty old crawdad of American Democracy, may have been bright, but does that mean that his maxim about death and taxes is unquestionable? Not entirely. Grover Norquist and the other patriots down at the Americans for Tax Reform offices are hard at work doing away with the tyranny of the IRS. However, not even the tag team efforts of Newt Gingrich and Leo Strauss could eliminate the natural act of bucket kicking. Faced with the unavoidable specter of death, the question that all of us must ask ourselves is how should we mourn the passing of our loved ones? Crying is unavoidable at first. I’m not ashamed to admit that I bawled an oil-drum’s worth of tears the day that the Gipper left us for that big movie set in the sky. But what comes next?

When my father passed, I couldn’t get out of bed for three days. I just laid on my side sobbing and my only nourishment came from Nutella and Gatorade. One idea kept running through my mind as I was holed up—I couldn’t let my pa be forgotten. When I re-emerged, I knew exactly what I could do to immortalize my old man.

I would lift my rig in his honor. Sure, I could have donated a marble bench in his honor down along the lakefront promenade where he used to love to stroll. But I couldn’t stomach the idea of all those strangers plopping their rears down on the everlasting memorial to the man who breathed life into me. And think of the farts! Too indignant.

After the cremation, I got down to business researching the different suspension lift kits on the market. I looked into Fabtech, Superlift, Trailmaster and Rancho, but I was weirdly drawn to the Skyjacker lift kits. It’s hard to explain, but I could almost see my dad’s smiling face in the profile of the cast iron steering knuckles. The connection I felt was so strong that I even tried to get in touch with someone over at Skyjacker about having some of my father’s remains injected into the Platinum 9000 Shocks I was going to get. No one seemed to take me seriously. It’s probably for the best, though. Who knows what kind of havoc those little bits of bones might reek on the wafer valving.

The installation took a couple of days, but that’s because I was trying to work as reverentially as possible. For the finishing touch, I broke out my Dremel and etched my dad’s name, Ralph, into the crossmember. He’d have been damn proud. And on the maiden voyage, I drove my mobile memorial over to the lakefront promenade for a couple of laps. Thanks to the 5" of extra ground clearance, hopping the parking lot curb was child’s play. Even on the stairs leading down to the walkway, the shocks didn’t fade or foam out. It was like dad’s spirit was buttressing my every maneuver.

I am a man who thrives on tradition, and I plan on championing this new custom. For example, I really could use some steering stabilizers and a set of desert tiresFind Article, and I have a couple of ill aunts out on the East Coast who I’m sure would appreciate being venerated in my chassis. Everyone wins.

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