Looking down and checking the gauges and everything looks normal, volts are up, temps are down and the fuel gauge just a notch off of full. Reaching over to the dash, I grab a fresh stick of bubble gum out of the pink carton which is lying on top of the Flyin Hooker fuel card next to my wallet.
Suddenly a wave of sadness rolls over me like a hot summer breeze. All summer long I have been spoon feeding the fuel card, a hundred here, fifty there, give up a couple of twenties and now there it lies. Like a three day old dead fish. Spent. Empty. D.O.A. at the next pump it finds. The needle wiggles a little just under “full” and we head west.
Fortunately the weather is nice, not a lot of wind, lite traffic. Caffeine Free Diet Coke in the drink tray and a fresh stick of gum, I am good for a hundred miles at least. Nothing like a full tank, groceries in the box, and the road she calls to me like a lover in the dark.
Today is much better than yesterday, yesterday was a little shop of horrors and not a whole lot of interstate fun. First the left lane was shut down in fifteen hundred feet for what appeared to be “no reason at all.” Then some idiot freight hauler who very much intent on getting into the lane I was occupying pushes his way into my world.
So I let him in, this monkey fresh outta the truck driving academy. Where they taught him how to double clutch (not, most freight haulers are running air shift/automatic’s these days) showed him how to jack-knife and bump the dock (again ... most likely will leave it in some company lot) and cheerfully assigned him a super secret CB Code name (which also doesn’t make sense because he is gonna be on a cellphone most of the time).
He comes over without so much as a thank you. Don’t you just hate it when everyone wants to play “Who has the best insurance.”
Now the road funnels down to what I call “kind of skinny,” a hard concrete barrier on the right. Backing down on the throttle, I ease over to the left and start taking my fair share out of the middle. Which is not making me a lot of friends in the trucking community behind me at the time. Some would consider this maneuver a little bit rude at best, but there is a valid reason.
The last time this happened, I tried to be a “good buddy” and share it all with them, and they in turn tried to bully me into the concrete barrier which we all know is not a good deal.
So now, I take my share out of the middle, I meet the legal limits for construction areas and if they do not like it, then I guess they can call someone about it. But no, they would rather imply that my parents were never married on the C.B. (which I usually turn off early in the game anyway) and threaten me with mortal harm.
Meanwhile we just motor along and I think to myself ... Are we having fun yet?
Eventually the road opens up, I signal a right turn and head into the Pokie Okie lane and three hard chargers come roaring by, and indicate to me that Old Eagle Buses are #1 this day in the Land of Enchantment. I just smile and crank up the CD Player.
The last time I had this much fun was at a multi-truck pileup on Interstate Forty outside of Gallup, where the New Mexico state trooper had a flare go off in his pants pocket. This is when several of us were required to sign this hastily drawn up penciled in document about not making any of this public under threat of prosecution (something called a confidentiality something or rather).
But then again, that is a whole ‘nother story Y’all (Okie Talk) and I need to hunt some parking, wife wants to watch Dancin’ With The Stars
and I am gonna cop me some rest. I am so glad that VISA raised my limits and my therapist changed my anxiety meds, this is gonna be the best Christmas yet.
Have a good weekend, watch them right handers.
BoxCarOkie (CTA) The Real Deal ... Accept no substitutes.