Posts Tagged ‘lot lizards’

Doing Dallas

September 10, 2011

Photo by dave_hensley via Flickr

I’ve got an odd relationship with the city of Dallas. In my pre-trucking days, I loved it… well, most of the time anyway. Now that I’m a trucker, I like being in Dallas almost as much as I like being in the middle of West Texas when I have a surprise attack from the Kingdom of Diarrhea.

My first trip to Dallas holds special meaning. It was November 19, 1993, and The Evil Overlord and I were standing in the courthouse sporting a lot of hair and a pair of rings that cost $50. Dudes, I gotta tell you. Getting married in jeans and flannel ROCKS! Yes, I eventually wound up in a penguin suit when we had another ceremony for the family and friends, but the first time was a lot more fun.

We were moving from Missouri to Dallas where I was going to be attending college. For The Evil Overlord, it was a return to where she lived during most of her wild teen years. These first few years are what every married couple considers “the good ole days.” Granted, at the time they sometimes didn’t feel like much fun. Although we both worked, we were usually broke and were sharing a crap-hole apartment with a large family of cockroaches. But when you look back, they were definitely good times. I know the cockroaches partied nearly every night.

Eventually, The Evil Overlord got a job as a leasing agent at an apartment complex and she started making more money. It seemed that she could sell hamburgers to cows when she put her mind to it. Once we had a little more money, we started enjoying some of the things that you can’t get in rural Missouri. Hockey games, sightseeing, museums, and lots and lots of nightlife.

In my opinion, Dallas also has one of the coolest skylines at night. Reunion tower is probably the most unusual. It looks like a giant microphone with a lighted ball on top. You can’t see it from the ground, but there’s a restaurant inside that spins 360 degrees. Pretty cool, but waaaaay out of our price range. We used to take visitors to the observation deck though. Check it out if you get a chance.

Another standout building is a skyscraper outlined in neon green lights. It looks wicked cool at night. Another building has a giant X on the side and a cool-looking tower on top. The Evil Overlord informed me that Metallica lived on the roof of that building. I’m thinking there might have been some funny smelling smoke coming out of her beat-up Honda Civic when that idea came to fruition. Ya think? Her and her friends were kinda naughty back then. Funny, now she can barely drink a glass of wine without turning beet red.

So you can see, Dallas holds a lot of “firsts” for me. My first hockey game. Ah yes. A little tip from your Uncle Todd: it’s not wise to wear a St. Louis Blues jersey to a Blues vs. Stars game, especially if you can’t fight your way out of a soggy paper bag. Luckily, the Blues lost. Whew!

Other firsts: I visited my first real museum. I went to my first piano bar. Funny stuff! I had my first Shiner Bock. Yummy! I went to my first gay bar. I went to my first Major League Baseball game at Rangers stadium. I had my first I-Max experience. Heck, I even got my first wife there. If I ever need another all depends on how long The Evil Overlord can tolerate me.

What? What are you stammering on about? One at a time please. I can’t understand when you’re all talking at once. There. That’s better. Oh… I guess I should explain that trip to the gay bar, huh?

The Evil Overlord had leased an apartment to a gay couple she nicknamed “The Homies.” Don’t worry, The Evil Overlord wasn’t being insensitive. She has a long history with gay guys and these guys loved it and her. One of her best friends in high school was a guy who turned out to be gay. Funny thing was, she knew he was gay long before he did. Anyway, these new friends of hers asked her to go to the bar with them. She asked me if it was okay if she went with them.

Now why wouldn’t she ask me to go along? Because she knew me… or she thought she did. You see, I grew up in a small town without a lot of diversity. We had a few exchange students, but most of the town was caucasian. NO ONE was outwardly gay. Heck, I found out a close high school friend of mine was gay about two years after graduation. I figured that out when he hit on me. Yikes!

So when it came time to go to a gay bar, The Evil Overlord naturally assumed I wouldn’t want to go. My initial reaction, was “HELL NO, I don’t wanna go,” but I started to think about it more. I was in a big city and knew I wouldn’t live there forever. I knew I wasn’t gay. I knew “The Homies” and they were okay. I was even getting used to their wolf whistles when they caught me walking down the hallway. And best of all, I had an experienced guide. The Evil Overlord was a veteran of gay bars because she attracts gay men like dogs are drawn to crotches. So what the heck? Life is about experiences. Right?

Well, it was an experience all right. Once at the club, our first stop was upstairs where there was a drag show complete with guys, errr, gals, errrr, whatever, lip-syncing to “Son of a Preacher Man” and every song ever sung by Whitney Houston. As we were walking back downstairs a guy coming up the stairs ran his hand down my chest. Now THAT gave me the heebee-jeebees, and The Evil Overlord and “The Homies” fits of laughter!

Really, a gay bar is pretty much like a regular bar, except there are mostly guys and they’re dancing with each other to lots of disco hits. They’re also doing pretty much everything else that goes on at a regular bar. Lots of grinding, fondling, and necking take place. The later it gets, the crazier it gets.

At first it was a little creepy, but like anything, I got used to it fairly quick. Although I have to say that I never really got used to the G-string clad guys that were paid to dance on a ledge around the edge of the dance floor. Especially since one of them clearly had a thing for me. I’m also pretty sure he had an elephant somewhere in his family tree. Perhaps the best thing about that night was that for the first time, uhhhh… ever, I got more attention than The Evil Overlord. Granted, it wasn’t exactly the setting I would’ve preferred. Hey, when you’re me, you’ve gotta settle for what you can get. And no, you pervs. I went home with The Evil Overlord.

So now that that’s explained. Let’s move on to the present. I really can’t stand Dallas now that I’m a trucker. I still have a few good memories as I drive by the glowing skyline at night, but they vanish quicker than a glass of milk at an Oreo convention as soon as I start looking for a parking spot.

Most of the large truck stops are all within a few miles of each other on a stretch of I-20, just south of Dallas. I wouldn’t exactly call this a “nice” neighborhood either. First you drive around in the parking lots hoping to find a spot while you dodge the NASCAR wannabe trucker that keeps doing laps in the parking lot at 30 mph. If you don’t find a spot there you move to the next truck stop. When (if) you finally find a parking spot, you can’t go through the night without at least one knock on your door. It’s either a beggar/junkie or a lot lizard… /junkie.

Take last night, I circled the Pilot parking lot three times looking for an empty space. Twice I had to hit my brakes hard as the Jeff Gordon wannabe came screaming around a corner. I finally gave up and headed out. As I passed a tiny truck stop about a block down the road, I noticed a couple of open parking spaces. I whipped in and nabbed one. Two hours later, the cashier comes out and asks for $7 for parking. I told him I hadn’t seen a sign. He pointed to it, but I still couldn’t see it since there weren’t any lights in the lot. I would have left, but if I had it would have broken up my 10-hour break and I couldn’t have delivered my load on time. Not to mention, the later it gets, the less chance of finding an empty spot. So I paid up.

Next, I wake up about 11 PM and hear someone yelling outside my window. “C’mon, back! C’mon! You got it! Bring it! You got it!” I guess the guide had to yell because the parking lot was as black as a bat’s bedroom. Still, that’s kinda rude for a driver to do that to another driver. He had to know there where drivers sleeping.

The next time I woke up was at 3 AM. This time it was a Latino lot lizard. Now I have to admit, she was kinda good-looking. She was thin, had make-up on, her hair was fixed, and she was nicely dressed. I waved her away and immediately heard another knock on the truck next door. Before I could crawl back into bed, she had crawled up into my neighbor’s cab and slammed the door. You know what came next. Yep. A driver who needs to spend a little time greasing his truck shocks better. Now see, if I were allowed to idle my truck without consequences, I wouldn’t have had to listen to all that.

Now it’s 5 AM and I hear another knock. I think, “Great, she’s forgotten that she’s already hit me up.” Nope. This time it was a woman who I can only describe as, “The human race is doomed if the apocalypse comes and it’s just me and her left.” Talk about nasty. She was a black woman who looked like she’d just crawled out of bed. Now that I think of it, she probably had. Great. Now I’ve got the heebee-jeebees again. Her hair was all messed up, she was overweight, her clothes were all tattered, and she had a gap between her two front teeth that I could’ve backed an over-sized trailer into. I waved her off and went back to bed. Not that it mattered. I’d been awake since Lady Latin knocked.

This isn’t just Dallas we’re talking about. When it comes to trucking, the names of big cities are interchangeable. Whether you’re talking about Vegas, Newark, the outskirts of L.A., or Dallas, your experience will probably be similar. Fight traffic, fight for a parking space, fight off lot lizards and beggars, and fight for your sleep.

And guess what? When I got up at 7 AM, I saw Miss Latin Lot Lizard 2011 and yet another lot lizard trotting across the parking lot and giggling. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get any sleep.

*Please rate this post and leave a comment about your worst night in a truck stop. Let all those non-truckers know I’m not full of it. Well, not about this anyway. ;-)*

Truckers, Perverts, and Naked People

June 25, 2009

Two things happened the other day that spurned the idea for this post. Neither is anything I’d ever like to see or even think of again.

First, a disclaimer. For anyone with youngsters about, you may want to pass on this one. I’d rate it PG-13 if you’re a normal parent, or NC-17 for the more paranoid ones. Onward to incident #1.

I was cruising along the highway the other day, when a truck went barreling by me. I gave it my usual casual glance, but was a little stunned when I read, “Be a flirt. Lift your skirt.” Alrighty then. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t because I had never seen anything like it. I see the ever-present “Show Your Hooters” and “Flash Me” at least once a week, but it’s usually written in the dirt on the back of the trailer or something. I’ve never seen that type of saying as an actual part of the paint job. As I said, this guy must’ve been a real perv.

I once had a fellow driver tell me that I had “Show me your hooters” written within the grime on the back of my trailer. As soon as I found out, I hit the nearest exit ramp and got rid of it. Still, someone had to have written it on there in the first place. That can only mean that there are guys out here who enjoy advertising their perversion. But in my experience, you don’t really have to ask for that sort of thing. It just pops up every now and then. Case in point, incident #2: the naked lady I saw.

The Evil Overlord and I had just grabbed a trailer from a little rundown importer in El Paso, Texas. Since we had both just taken our showers, she was still awake and sitting in the passenger seat. As we left the shipper, we both glanced to our right into a dilapidated trailer park. It was one of those places where you can’t really tell if anyone lives there or not. It looked too trashed and boarded up for anyone to live there, but at the same time, it had the feel that someone just might. Unfortunately, the later was true.

A pudgy woman, who must have been in her late 50’s, was standing outside her trailer. Buck naked. At five o’clock in the afternoon. For some reason, I got the impression that she was grilling, but as luck would have it my view was somewhat obstructed by The Evil Overlord and our passenger-side door. Thank the Lord on high! The Evil Overlord had no such luck. While I only saw a nasty set of old boobies that had completely lost their battle with gravity, The Evil Overlord got the Full Monty. Poor thing. The Evil Overlord. Not Miss Birthday Suit extraordinaire.

Strangely enough, the sight of naked people isn’t as rare as you might think in the trucking industry. When we first got into trucking, we didn’t believe all the stories that truckers told about the clothing-challenged folks of this world. But over the years, we’ve figured out that those truckers weren’t always exaggerating.

For example, I once witnessed a Las Vegas lot lizard (that’s a truck stop prostitute) flip a hooter at me after I had refused her first offer. Another time, I got a shock while sitting at a stop light near Dallas, Texas. Just as I glanced at the truck next to me, a woman jumped out of the bunk area and promptly lifted her shirt up over her head. Her husband was sitting in the driver’s seat watching and laughing at the whole thing. Weird. A girl in Albuquerque once produced a full moon in the middle of the afternoon. But these people are just flashers. There are those who are bolder. . . much, much bolder.

Ever been hit on by a member of the same sex? Maybe you have. But did it go on for an hour? I had a guy who was riding beside me for a long time on the stretch of I-35 between San Antonio and Laredo, Texas. Because it was night-time, I kept noticing something flickering in his car. Eventually I noticed a pattern. Three flicks of the cigarette lighter, then a pause. Nervous habit? Not when the guy was clearly holding the lighter next to the passenger side window where I could easily look down and see it. That may be some kind of gay Morse code, for all I know. Maybe that’s why I’ve heard them referred to as “flamers?”

Anyway, it was clear what he wanted because he eventually resorted to explicit hand gestures. He also would get in front of me and then take an exit ramp. When I didn’t follow, he’d get back on the highway, pull up alongside again, and start the whole process over. He finally gave up after 60 miles or so. Now that guy was a perv. But once again, The Evil Overlord outshines me.

She was traveling in late evening rush hour on I-25 northbound out of Denver, Colorado when she too noticed a car riding beside her for an unusual amount of time. When she finally looked down, she got the shock of a lifetime. The guy had his pants and suit jacket neatly folded over the passenger side seat and he was in the process of. . . how should I say this. . . he was in the process of “beating away” the memory of a long day at work. Or perhaps he was just taking a load off. However you want to look at it. You get the picture.

So here’s what needs to happen. Lot lizards should save their stuff for paying customers. Truckers need to quit trying to get flashed and flashers need to quit exposing themselves. Gay guys should try to pick up guys at rest areas instead of while driving down the road at 65 mph. And for Pete’s sake, if you just can’t wait to. . . ahem. . . relieve some stress, at least pull into a rest area. Someone there just may be willing to lend you a helping hand. Man, oh man. What has our world come to?

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