Truck Drivers or: how I learned that everyone, or no one, hates them all

trucks

I recently saw a semi with a sign on the back that said ‘Don’t like trucks? Stop buying stuff. Problem solved.’ My first thought was, who the fuck is that sign for? Is there a contingent of people constantly complaining about semi trucks out there? Like anyone that drives a car, I occasionally get annoyed with trucks that will try to pass another truck going uphill on the highway because it usually takes three miles for them to actually be able to make the pass. And there are times when a truck will veer into my lane and freak me the fuck out because they are huge, but I’ve never thought of trucks as unnecessary or something in general not to like.

I suppose we all need an enemy of sorts. I’m sure truck drivers see people do some of the dumbest shit imaginable because, lets face it, most people at one time or another are bad at driving. We often make bad decisions and then back them up with even worse decisions and while behind the wheel that can make things dangerous. There are people that will fly down the highway and zig in and out of traffic. Unless you are in the midst of explosive diarrhea or there’s a family emergency, if you drive like that you’re a fucking asshole. And seriously, even if there is a family emergency, try to not drive like a maniac. It doesn’t do your family any good if you wreck on the way to an emergency.

But back to the point, where does the idea that everyone hates trucks come from? Of course I want trucks on the road. I want my local grocery store to have fresh fruits and veggies, I want my mail to make it to wherever it needs to go, I want to be able to buy a 36 pack of toilet paper from Target. For all that to happen we need trucks, at least until drones becomes sentient and take over the world, but that’s another issue for another day.

There seems to be a defiant attitude for a lot of the country much like Cartman on South Park;

cartman

which is coooool, maybe, I think, actually, maybe not. A society of Cartmans sounds terrible. He’s the character you love to cheer against, a lot like our president. A constantly defiant society accomplishes nothing but arguing. And that’s why we have a congress. And boy do they do a great job of accomplishing virtually nothing.

While it can be a good thing to be proud and defiant, if you’re fighting an evil force that may not even be there, what are you really defying? So truck drivers, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I don’t look at you as a nuisance on the road, or even a necessary evil, I look at you with some understanding that you see the worst in people, have to log a lot of hours on the road and sometimes have to put up with people’s bullshit. Well, so do the rest of us. I think that’s the Merriam-Webster definition of work. Please don’t be quick to judge that those of us in normal sized vehicles on the road wish anything bad upon you, or even don’t understand your value to our society, but if you take three miles to pass another truck going two miles per hour slower than you, you might see me singing “get the fuck out of the way” from my driver’s seat. It’s nothing personal, it might be low key road rage, but at least it will be from the heart because I love you trucks. And we sometimes hate the ones we love, but please, put the fucking signs away. There’s enough defiant bullshit in our world as it is.

In Memoriam of the Still Alive Cody Clayton

hoshizaki-ice-machine

The parking lot is mostly empty. Plenty of spots. It doesn’t feel good. Neither does my head. I tried not to drink too much last night, but we all know how that goes when you work behind a bar. The clo-pin. It’s a right of passage in a way, but I miss my bed.

My feet carry me up the back steps, clomping heavily on the rain worn wood, pulling my weight on an unreliable hand rail. I take a deep breath as I clock in. I don’t know why, but I need it. I hope it will give me energy or a more positive attitude. It doesn’t.

I begin setting up the same bar I broke down several hours ago. Uncapping, unwrapping, refilling, washing, wiping, all that shit. I try to suck down a terrible cup of coffee just to keep going. My body craves water, but I don’t usually listen. Why the fuck am I here right now? I won’t get a customer for hours. I’ve been here too much lately. Fuck this place, fuck work. What kind of life is this?

I burp and fart my way through the set up. No one else is happy to be here right now either. It’s the morning dregs. We all get them. The evil eye that says just leave me alone for a while, let me set up in peace and get this coffee in my system before I have to be civil. I curse the existence of the restaurant, for not paying better attention in school, for the failures of a city that owes me nothing.

I wander to the back to get ice for my well. The dish washer is one of my buddies and he looks as bad as I do.

“What’s up man?” he says, spraying a dish down.

I shovel a scoop into the ice pit and begin loading up my bucket. I groan as he talks, “Ugh. You’re looking at it.”

“Yeah,” he said, his smile slowly fading as the realization of where we are and what we are doing set it. “Yeah,” repeating, much more solemnly this time, going back to washing another dish and I continued shoveling ice in silence.

We were where we were and there was nothing at that moment that could change it. We could dream of a fire burning the building down, giving us a free day, but it wouldn’t happen. It never does. Our day would go on and we would quietly hate the world for a while, hungover and miserable, shoveling ice and washing dishes in one way or another until it was time to punch the clock once again.