Once upon a time, there was a mother truck (no, no, literally– she was a truck who had children. Don’t ask me about the biology. This IS a fairy tale, after all. Suspend your disbelief a little, people).
Anyway, she had four small children whom she all loved dearly. But one of the children was a little bit homelier than the others, so she loved him slightly less.
Side note: “Homely” is a gentle way of saying “ugly.” Just like the words “cute” or “adorable” when used to describe a full-grown adult really mean “infantile,” “annoying,” or “You’re definitely not taller than 5’1″, are you?”
The ugly little truck had dents and scratches and was a terrible color– almost like a green dirty-diaper color.
His brothers and sisters would make jokes about him, both behind his fender and right in front of his hood! They would say things like:
“It’s exhausting just looking at you!” or
“You’re WHEELy ugly,” or even,
“What, are you? A Ford or something?”
I didn’t say the jokes were clever or subtle. They were jerks.
So, the ugly truckling decided to drive away, and not just on a short trip– the truckling drove all the way to Route 66.
He lived on the road all winter, which really just rusted him through all the more. Soon, his paint chipped off. He had no dental coverage, so he grew buckteeth. And he had to work to buy his own gas, so began to tow other cars and trucks.
But the ugly truckling didn’t mind. His homely nature just made him all the more friendly.
Eventually, the truck found that he could no longer just go by the name “Ugly Truckling” for he was no longer just a truckling.
And so, he named himself after his favorite fruit… no, vegetable… no, fruit– his name was Tow-Mater!
Yes! In fact, most of the reason Tow-Mater wanted to help Lightning McQueen rise to the top was to be on TV and show his no-good, rotten family the beautiful metaphorical swan he had become!
Of course, his family still thought Tow-Mater was ugly, with a weird name to boot. But what they did learn was that true and real love and friendship goes deeper than appearances. They also learned that if you know someone famous on a personal level, you can totally mooch off of their fame and glory.
And so, they all lived happily ever after until they were taken to the scrapyard and disassembled for parts.