Posts Tagged ‘perverts’

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Trucker Style

December 19, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas is here and you and your brother have finally settled out of court over that ugly turkey drumstick incident. The house is filled with holiday cheer. Everyone is happy to be together while they snort chocolate shavings, smoke cookie dough, and mainline eggnog.

But what about those truckers who didn’t make it home on Christmas Day? Well, I’ve written a poem in their honor. I hope it puts you in a Christmasy kinda mood. Here goes nothing. Pick your poison. You can listen to me or read it yourself. Enjoy!

Click here to listen

‘Twas the night before Christmas: Trucker style

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the truck,

the only thing stirring was a case of bad luck.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

but thanks to my job, I wasn’t there.

The nephews were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Modern Warfare 3 danced in their heads.

With The Evil Overlord at home in her teddy (hey, it’s my poem) and I on the road,

We had both settled down to take off a load.

When outside my truck there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bunk to see what was the matter.

I reached for my clothes, knowing I was certain,

Prepared for the worst, I opened the curtain.

The moon in the sky gave off such a great glow

It made the parking lot look like it was covered with snow.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a flatbed loaded with big green John Deeres.

With the driver outside looking at my truck,

I knew right away I had more bad luck.

As I jumped outside to check out my bumper,

Something flew over my head and then took big dumper.

My luck continued as I took it in the eye,

It was such a huge load it almost made me cry.

As I looked to the sky I swore I heard a jingle,

I took cover and prayed it didn’t need to tinkle.

Alas, I did not see what dumped on my head,

But I thought I glimpsed something that might have been red.

I thought, “Could that have been good old St. Nick?”

Nah, couldn’t be. My eyes had just played a trick.

So back to my problem, the wreck, not the poop.

I called my Nazi safety department to give them the scoop.

We exchanged information and he went on his way,

I guess he was too embarrassed to back in and stay.

Next thing you know I was getting a call,

The Evil Overlord sounded like she was about to bawl.

It seems that some fat guy had squeezed down through our roof

He didn’t seem too happy that he burned his caboose.

He was all dressed in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all covered with ashes and soot.

She said, “Why would a man be wearing so much fur?”

“I bet he’s one of those drag queens, Do I call him sir?”

“His eyes-how they twinkle! His dimples how merry!”

“This dude must be wasted, I’m guessing it’s cooking Sherry.”

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the Sherry had stained his beard, like a dead deer in the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And she said, “Holy cow, I think that’s weed!”

He had a broad face and a big ol’ gut,

Every bit of him was fat, yes, even his butt.

He was chunky and plump, a right jolly old guy,

She said, “I’d be jolly too if I was that high!”

A wink of his eye and a shake of his head,

“Are you kidding me, perv, not even if I were dead!”

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings with Doritos and beef jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh and they lurched into flight,

As she leveled the shotgun, she had him in sight.

As he started to exclaim, she squeezed off a shot,

“That’ll teach you to let your reindeer poop in my husband’s eye!”

The End.

Merry Christmas

*If you enjoyed this little ditty, please give this post a good rating and tell all your friends to check it out. If you didn’t enjoy it, keep your rating to yourself and your trap shut.*

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. ;-)*

The Road to Smutville

May 13, 2011

Photo by pinkmoose via Flickr

Driving a truck nowadays is almost like having a subscription to Playboy. Well, I guess the billboards only show portions of the actual goods, so maybe it’s closer to Maxim. Any way you look at it though, today’s truck driver has waaaaay too many loads going to Smutville.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. “Here comes another lecture from a holier-than-thou bigot. Who are you to judge what’s right or wrong.” Okay. First off, I’m not holier-than-thou. Second, you can do and think what you want; including not reading this post. Third, it’s my blog, so it’s my opinion. Fourth, quit using the word “bigot” for anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Whether you’re a bigot or not depends on how you act towards the person you disagree with. From Mirriam-Webster:

Definition of BIGOT

: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
I’m sure some of you think there is absolutely nothing wrong with porn. You’re entitled to your opinion. Now I ask you this. What good in this world has come from pornography? Sure, since the porn industry brings in more cash than all the major sports combined, I suppose you could say it stimilates the economy. But how does that really benefit anyone? Other than your two minutes of happy alone time, I mean. I guess it does provide some jobs, but the majority of the money you spend on smut goes directly into the producer’s pockets, which in turn, goes to make more porn. If you can think of some wonderful benefit of porn that I’m neglecting, please feel free to argue your point by leaving a comment. I’ll be glad to have the debate with anyone who can carry on an intelligent conversation and doesn’t resort to name-calling. Now back to the subject at hand. Uhhhh… perhaps that’s a bad cliché to use right now.

Anyway, I’ve been truckin’ coast to coast since 1997, and I don’t remember it always being so bad. Maybe my memory is just shot from staring at too many long stretches of road, but back then I only remember Las Vegas being overrun with porno billboards. I can’t say as I was all that surprised about that though. It is Vegas after all. And being Vegas, they have now lifted it to a new level. Last time I was through there, they had numerous billboards advertising production job openings for a company called “Bait & Tackle.” This sure looked “fishy” to me. The pictures on these billboards were of Jolly Green Giant-sized half-naked men and women. My suspicions led me to wonder if these “productions” were porno flicks. Turns out, I was right. Here’s the story if you don’t believe me.

While Vegas is always at the forefront of risqué, the rest of the country isn’t that much better. If you’re in an urban area, there are billboards for “Gentlemen’s Clubs” every time you glance up from the road. Now I can honestly say I’ve never seen one gentlemen in these establishments. It’s hard to be gentlemanly when you’re holding up a dollar bill with lust in your eyes and drool on your lip. And yes, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been to a few strip clubs in my younger years. All three times, I buckled to peer pressure from the guys in my band. It was never my idea. I can honestly say that I was just never into it. While I wasn’t exactly a great Christian example back in those days, I guess my Christian upbringing always made me feel that something was just “wrong” about the whole situation. It didn’t help that I’m a tightwad. I couldn’t really see the sense in paying a woman to tease me. I knew plenty of girls that would do that for free.

Temptation isn’t just in the cities though. Even out in the stix, you’ve got billboards telling you to that there is truck parking at the adult video store at the next exit. And how convenient that it’s open 24 hours. Couples welcome? I’ll bet. I wonder how many of those places have hidden cameras stashed around the joint? It still amazes me how many of these shops are on the highways of America.

Every once in a while you’ll see a billboard for massage parlors. And guess what? They have truck parking. And how about the topless cafe’s down on I-75 in the Southeast. Their billboards list topless waitresses, food, truck parking and showers. I’m sorry, but even if my electronic logs tell me I’m out of driving time, I’m not stopping for the night and taking a shower at one of these places. I feel sorry for the plumber who has to clean out those drains.

Even when you’re at the truck stop, you’re not immune from sexual bombardment. Most of the large truck stop chains stay away from porno mags, but many of the smaller places have magazine racks that devote more than half the shelf space to porn. That always disturbs me, knowing that a graphic image like that can get burned into a kid’s brain with one glance. And yes, I’m fully aware all the naughty bits are covered, but they’re still revealing enough to peak the kid’s curiosity.

Once you’re back in the protective cocoon known as your truck, you’d think you’re safe. But no, here comes the lot lizard. That’s a truck stop prostitute, for you non-truckers out there. Granted, most truck stops don’t have infestations of lot lizards, but you can pretty much count on a knock on your door if you’re anywhere near an urban area. I’ve seen a few nice-looking lot lizards over the years, but by and large, you’ve gotta be pretty desperate to go there.

Clearly, all these smut pushers know their audience. If their advertising didn’t work, they’d change their billboards or get rid of them altogether. Sadly, it is working. It’s not very often that I pass an adult store without at least one truck in the parking lot. Likewise, lot lizards wouldn’t be frequenting truck stops if there weren’t drivers forking over the cash for their services. Truck stops wouldn’t be carrying nudie mags if drivers weren’t buying them either.

So what’s a driver to do? Well, if he’s thinks there’s nothing wrong with porn, he goes as crazy as a nymphomaniac at a swinger’s convention. While he’s doing so, he may get lost in a world that will only take him further into the heart of Smutville. I’ve never been an avid porno guy, but I’d be a big fat liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I said I’ve never seen any. I’ve seen my share. Some of my friends went for the hardcore stuff, but I’ve always liked something left to the imagination. See, I was even classy back then. Pssshhht.

I can only tell you that the more you see this stuff, the more obsessed your mind gets. I hate to tell you guys this, but your mechanic is not a hot chick who’s going to get all hot and bothered when you bring your car in for a busted radiator. It’s just plain unrealistic. Your partner may or may not get into playing “housewife and UPS man.” But guys, you don’t really want your wife hopping into the sack with every delivery guy that shows up at your door, do you? But hey, because there’s a woman doing it on video, your distorted perception tells you that you should probably leave your partner to find someone more adventurous. Good luck with that.

Like I said, I was never heavy into the porno world, so it was easy for me to get rid of it altogether. I’m grateful that I never got lost in it. I know myself and how easily I could fall prey to this stuff. And I know that I don’t want to go where that road would take me. A few slaps upside the head from The Evil Overlord (my wife and ex co-driver) was all it took for me. It’s not so easy for others to walk away.

So why am I even talking about all of this? It’s actually for two reasons. I’m trying to warn anyone who may already be struggling with this, and I’m also trying to help those who may be considering becoming a truck driver in the future. It’s similar to me telling someone with a weight problem to really consider it before they start trucking, because it’s likely that their weight problems will only escalate once they set foot in a truck. It’s just the nature of the beast.

If you’re going to be all alone out on the road, you’ve got one of two choices. You can embrace the smut, which means you’ll be risking a wicked wrist injury and/or a scorching STD; or you can resist the urge to give into temptation and keep your jump shot and the bliss of peeing without pain. Naturally, the latter is the harder of the two and the road less traveled.

Here’s the thing. It would be all too easy to take the road to Smutville. Most of us drivers are alone out here on the road. We can stop into any video store or strip club we want. Who’s ever going to find out? “Sorry I didn’t answer the phone last night, honey. I was in an area with no cell service.” Or you could load up on porno mags when you leave the house and trash them before you get home. The pages are probably all stuck together by then anyway.

My point is this. If you want to stay away from this stuff, you need to have a strong will and possibly even a little help. Now I’m a Christian, but even so, I’m not immune to this stuff. I admit that all the opportunities out here are tempting at times. When I see a racy billboard or a nice set of legs in the car beside me, I try not to take a second look. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. The thing that helps me most is that I know God is always watching. Even if The Evil Overlord never found out, I would still know and so would God. Now that may be enough to keep me from caving in, but if you’re not a believer in a supreme being with an ever watchful eye, you may need more help.

If you even think you might be addicted to porn, just do a Google search for “pornography addiction help line” and call one of the toll-free numbers to get some help. And if that still isn’t enough, I might be able to talk The Evil Overlord into coming over and giving you a good THWACK upside your head. You know; while that is rather effective, she does seem to enjoy it just a taaaaad bit too much.

*Please feel free to leave a comment and/or give any further advice you might have. And please go rate this blog post. Now go on with your bad self.*

Funkin’ Truckin’

November 8, 2010

If you’re here looking for a happy-go-lucky attitude, perhaps you should go see if Elmo has started writing a blog over at Sesame Street. As long as he’s not doing an audio blog, you should be able to visit without causing any permanent hearing damage. What you’re going to get here is what I call a “funk.”

Everyone gets the funk. Now if you’re George Clinton or Dr. Funkenstein, that’s a good thing, but for the rest of it, it’s a funking drag. The funk happens when you think your life sucks. Perhaps your life has always sucked, but you’re just now noticing it. In my case, I don’t really know how the funk crept on me. It just hit me one day.

I know my life doesn’t truly suck. For one thing, I have a wife that I don’t want to murder every day. Now The Evil Overlord may be thinking just the opposite, but as long as she doesn’t follow through with it, I can live with that.

I also have my health. I’ve got an immune system that could fight off the Bubonic Plague or a mean case of cooties. But if I wanted to show off my six-pack abs, I’d have to commission an artist to whip out the body paint. And so what if I can’t run 1/4 mile without coughing up blood and wetting myself? While that is kinda lame, at least I can walk into a truck stop without panting, and although I’m not exactly ripped, at least I can still look down and see my light saber (that’s for my perverted 😉 Twitter buds, @Dean0806 and @raysunshine77). Those are two things many truckers can’t do.

And then there’s God, who loves me and forgives me, even when I don’t deserve it. Thoughts of eternity, world-wide suffering, hunger, and disease helps to remind me that all of my problems really don’t add up to a hill of beans. I mean really, at least I’m not getting raped in Africa right now. I’d say that’s something that I’m pretty happy about.

And then there’s my job; truck driving. It may not be the greatest job, but in this economy, I shouldn’t be complaining. There are many who would love to have my income right now.

So, if I know all of this, why am I in a funk? What could possibly happen that could cause such a funk? No one close to me is dying. No one I know personally is going through anything that they haven’t been battling for years. It’s nothing really, yet it is.

As many of you know, The Evil Overlord is attending college again. I feel her stress as she studies day and night for her Anatomy & Physiology class. It’s kicking her butt, but she’s managing a decent grade. This class is all-consuming. Which makes her other two classes harder to keep up with. She’s making it, but her heart isn’t in it. And there is the crux of the problem.

I don’t know how The Evil Overlord and I managed to hit our mid-life without having any passions. It’s depressing to think that we are both trying to attend college for careers that we aren’t passionate about. Now I’m fully expecting everyone to tell me that I shouldn’t go back to school unless it’s something that I’m really gung-ho about. That’s easier said than done.

If The Evil Overlord and I had our way, we’d probably both be freelance writers. She’d go with fiction and I’d do non-fiction. That would be all fine and dandy if we were younger, but we’re a couple of old turds who have little experience as writers. Well, I guess officially, she’d be a turdette. Anyway, when you’re young, you can take a chance on a freelance career with unsteady income.  But when you’ve been a money moron all your life, you need to find a good occupation with steady income. Something that you can do until you’re an old fart who farts with every step. You old farts know what I’m talking about.

So let’s say we both start writing for a living. Everyone knows it takes time to become a good writer, and even longer to get noticed. How do the bills get paid all that time? How do we save money for retirement? How do we afford health insurance? Even worse, what if neither of us ever gets good enough to make a living out of it? I’m not a big fan of government-run old folks homes. Too many weird smells for me. And this coming from a guy who is locked in an enclosed truck with himself all day.

So, it’s off to school to pursue careers that we can tolerate. Quite honestly, it wouldn’t take much to top trucking. Just a job where you’re home every night would do the trick. You can say “Pursue your dreams” all you want, but in the end you have to do what is practical for your future. And without any true passions…

Now back to funky subjects. The Evil Overlord and I are both in a funk due to our lack of direction. Add to that, the fact that we are apart. Add to that the fact that I haven’t had more than 42 hours off in a row. Add to that, my company is installing e-logs.

Now tack on the fact that my company has recently banned all cooking devices from our trucks. All because of a couple of drivers who are dumber than a retarded camel. We already couldn’t have inverters. Now, it’s nothing but cold foods if we want to save money by eating in the truck. Now if we want a hot meal, we’ll have to eat fast food, or spend even more money to eat in the truck stop restaurant. Neither is good for your health or your wallet.

That’s not all. They have a policy that if you are going to be out of the truck for more than four days, you have to turn your truck into a yard. It used to be five days. Recently, they changed it to three days. The problem is, I live about 7.5 hours from the nearest terminal. That means that if I ever want a vacation, I’ll have to waste 15 hours of my vacation time driving to and from the terminal. Nice. How do they expect to keep any long-term drivers? I guess they just assume that everyone will move close to a terminal.

Let me ask a favor here. From the policies and new rules I’ve described here, if you work for the same company that I do, you now know what company I work for. Please don’t say the name of the company if you know who it is. I know a driver who was fired from this company for posting this kind of information online. The difference is, that driver mentioned the company name numerous times and I haven’t. Let’s keep it that way. Thank you.

I’ve voiced my opinion to my boss about e-logs, the banning of cooking units, and turning the truck in. I even moved above my fleet manager and spoke with her boss. When I asked to speak to the Operations manager, I was told I didn’t want to talk to him. I said, “Why? What’s he going to do? Fire me for voicing an opinion?” The answer: “Maybe.” Again, nice.

This is not the company I worked for in the past. But it is the one I’m stuck with for now. With school in sight, it’s not worth quitting and finding a new company. I’m not saying anything new. This was all covered in Sucking it up a while back. Problem is, I’m not doing a very good job with that title.

I’m not through yet. Sorry. To add to the funk, I recently had a load to Miami, FL, which is a place I loathe. I got reloaded quickly, but I knew I’d be back to the shipper. 45-46,000 pound loads of sugar can’t be loaded all the way to the trailer doors. Any experienced trucker knows that. Unfortunately, the entire non-English speaking staff at the shipper couldn’t understand what I was saying. A long trip across Miami to the nearest scale proved me right.

As I was heading back to get reloaded, I got a call from my boss telling me that these people didn’t understand English and even the Spanish-speaking drivers had been having trouble with them. Luckily, when I arrived back, I began talking to another driver there and he explained that it was Spanish, but it had a Puerto Rican accent that was hard to understand. Since he was Puerto Rican, he explained the situation to the shipper and I got reloaded.

When I reexamined the load, I saw that they had only moved the freight a couple of feet forward. That wasn’t going to cut it either and I had everyone at the shipper mad at me when I refused to move from the dock until they reloaded me according to my specs. They finally did, and after another drive across town to scale, I once again proved to myself how truly cool I am. Hey, it’s my story. So 5.5 hours from the start of my day, I was under way. As I pulled out, all I could think was, “Good thing I’m not on E-logs yet.” *evil grin*

To cap this all off, I just got a call from The Evil Overlord informing me that my ticket for being on a restricted road in my truck had finally been settled in court (the signs were only visible AFTER you were on the road with no place to turn around). I didn’t get any points, but the $150 ticket ended up costing me $372 plus the $100 lawyer fee.

All the above is what put me in a funk. When the combination of crappy things pile up on you all at once, funk ensues. I’ll drag myself out of it eventually. I’m not looking for sympathy. That’s why I stayed offline for the past week or so. We’ve all been through rough patches in our lives. This is no different.

It might help if I had something to look forward to, but for now I’m just going to try to make myself feel better. Since I don’t cuss anymore, I think I’ll start my journey out of funkhood by saying, “Funk lawyers.” Well, it’s a start anyway.

*Please leave your funky comments and click the pretty “Like” button. No sympathy please. I’m giving myself enough for all of us.” 🙂

SLC to CYA

November 10, 2009

I was doing my pre-trip walk around inspection when I rounded the back corner of my trailer and saw a sight no driver wants to see. The seal was broken on my trailer. I knew immediately that someone had broken into the trailer while I slept. The thoughtful thief had attempted to fool me by putting the broken seal back in place. Quite honestly, I’m surprised I noticed it. So now what?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I kinda like this whole living and breathing thing, therefore, the first thing I did was look around to make sure I wasn’t about to be cold-cocked by a criminal who was none too happy with being interrupted. After making sure that the coast was clear, I held my breath, wished for the best, opened the trailer door, and peeked inside. Wait. Perhaps I should back up to the night before.

I had picked up a load from a major retailer’s warehouse that was located just south of Chicago. This company’s shipping process goes something like this. When I hook to my loaded trailer, the doors are already closed and there is a plastic seal in place. I then drive to the outbound gate where the security guard confirms that the seal is intact and that the numbers match their paperwork. Next the guard has the driver break the seal and open the trailer doors. The guard then verifies the store number printed on a label to ensure that the cargo matches the destination on the paperwork. If everything matches they put a different seal on the trailer and verify that the new number matches. In other words, I’ve got no chance of stealing anything off that trailer. Not every shipper is so strict. Some toss a seal at you and walk off. Others don’t even offer one. In that case, I use one that my company has supplied. So what exactly is this seal thing I speak of?

A seal’s primary purpose is to show if the load has been tampered with. It’s just like in the movies when you see the King seal a letter with a wax stamp to ensure that no one has read the contents, only a wax seal is waaaay cooler looking than a trucking seal. When you reach the receiver, they can see that if the seal is intact and the number on it matches the paperwork, all is well in Truckville. Now, if there is a shortage of product they can’t  blame the truck driver. That is if you take the right precautions. More on that in a minute.

There are four main kinds of seals; plastic, tin, cable, and bolt. Check out the pictures below to see what each seal looks like. Even though the pictures show padlocks, most drivers don’t use one. The pictures only have locks because I took all these pictures at a company terminal, and they padlock every loaded trailer as it comes in. Now let’s hope no “breaking and entering specialists” read this next part. No seal is completely theft-proof. A plastic seal can be broken with a quick tug of the bare hand. A tin seal will cut you if you try that, but if you’re wearing a pair of gloves, this technique also works. Cable and bolt seals are more of a deterrent, but like any padlock, either can be removed with a standard set of bolt cutters anyone can buy at their local Thieves R Us store.

So back to the story. After leaving the shipper I drove to the TA truck stop on I-90 just west of Chicago. When I parked for the night the wind was blowing so hard that my truck was rocking back and forth, making me feel like a drunken pirate trying to sleep off a liter of rum. Arrrr! This is relevant because a driver can sometimes feel it if someone starts walking around inside the trailer, but I wouldn’t have felt a thing with the truck rocking all night. And no, I was solo at the time, so The Evil Overlord was at home… you perv.

Now back to why the shipper’s outbound process is relevant. In opening that trailer door the night before, I had seen what was on the rear of the trailer. I recall seeing power tools, such as drills, circulars saws, shop vacs, house vacuums, and the like. It was stacked within two feet of the ceiling nearly all the way to the trailer doors. There was lots of stuff that I wouldn’t mind owning, and most of it was easily portable. So when I opened the trailer door the next morning I was surprised to see that nothing appeared to be missing. Hmm. That’s weird. I called the company to inform them. After a brief discussion, they told me to reseal the trailer with one of our company’s seals, note it on the paperwork, and move on down the road. They would call ahead and let the customer know what had happened.

When the receiver unloaded me, they only found two items missing. One 42″ LCD TV and oddly enough, one gadget that was designed to roll up a garden hose. I’m guessing the latter was a shipping error, but there was no doubt about the TV. I told them I hadn’t seen a TV on the rear of the trailer the night before. They explained that there was a large empty space where it had sat approximately 15 feet from the rear of the trailer. Some of the top boxes had been squashed a bit. So whoever stole that TV would have had to crawl up and over stacks of freight within two feet of the ceiling to get what they were after. It was clear to everyone present that whoever broke into the trailer knew exactly what they were looking for and exactly where it was. Clearly an inside job. Because of this, and perhaps the fact that I offered to let the receiving clerk look inside my truck for the missing TV, my company never said another word about it. Had it not been so apparent, who knows?

As I hinted at earlier, there are other ways for a driver to protect himself from suspicious glances from receiving clerks. At the shipper, smart drivers (that would be me) sign their name to the Bill of Lading and then write “SLC” in big letters, which stands for Shipper Load & Count. If you’ve signed SLC and you let the shipper seal the trailer, when the receiver is shorted product, you can’t be held responsible. They’ll know that the loader just can’t count as well as a 5th grader. Hey, I bet there’s a game show in there somewhere. Anywho, some shippers forbid SLC, but most don’t care.

Other shippers require you to sign for the number of pieces loaded on the trailer. In this case, you can either count the product as it’s being put onto the trailer, or you can trust the loader not to hose you. Despite knowing better, I only count freight if the shipper requires me to do it. One of these days I’m sure this will come back to take a big bite out of my rump roast, but so far it hasn’t. So until then, let laziness rule! Either way you lean, you would sign this paperwork with “SLDC,” which stands for Shipper Load, Driver Count. Now they know that you’re the moron who can’t count. Either that or they’ve guessed you’re just a lazy skuzzbucket.

Another way to cover your… ahem, gluteus maximus, is to have the receiver sign the bills with the phrase “Seal intact.”  That way if they discover an overage or shortage after you’ve already left the premises, your glutes are covered.

While I’ve only had one theft in my 12+ years, I’ve had many loads with overage or shortages. No matter which trucking company I was working for at the time, the first question is always the same, “Did you sign SLC?” If you did, they just take the details down and you’ll probably never hear another peep. If you didn’t, you could be held responsible. And FYI, if a trucker tries to sell you something expensive that was “extra” on a load, don’t buy it, literally and figuratively. The only thing I’ve ever been able to keep was an extra case of toilet paper, a damaged case of Honey Nut Cheerios, and a few packets of enchilada seasoning. I’m sure Sony would want those “extra” camcorders back.

As for break-ins and broken seals, let’s just hope you haven’t recently “purchased” a 42″ LCD TV.

*So, have you ever had a trailer broken into? Or do you have any tips for us drivers on how to better prevent load theft? Leave a comment for all to see. And if you found this post helpful, please pass on the word to all your thieving friends. Thanks.*

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?


%d bloggers like this: