As I was motivatin' down the road the other day, I started thinking of the truckers dutifully carrying America's stuff all over the fruited plains, mountains, deserts, forests and other topographical features of this great land, fruited or not. Without the big rigs rolling down our highways and byways and other kinds of ways, we would be in a sad state. Practically everything we eat, drink, wear, sit in, walk on, throw away, steal, waste money on or give away comes to our neck of the woods on a truck. Those 18 wheelers transport basic necessities like building materials, furniture, industrial parts, oil, rock, and all sorts of stuff like that there. But, some trucks are carrying things we don't normally think of, items of a more ignoble or unglamorous status. Recently, this point was driven home to me as I sat at a truck stop eating something resembling a sandwich, listening to the conversation of some of the truckers around me. Here is that conversation, as nearly as I can remember it:
Trucker 1: Hey, Poindexter, pass me the ketchup, will ya?
Me: Hey, pal, you wanna rephrase that remark?
Trucker 1: <grabbing my nose with his large, remarkably apelike hand> Oh, yeah, sorry. Hey, Poindexter, pass me the catsup, will ya?
Me: <wiping the mustard off my throbbing nose> That's better, sir.
Trucker 2: Hey there, what you haulin' buddy?
Me: Why, I've just got a few cartons of Preparation H for a friend of mine and...
Trucker 2: I'm not talking to you, Pencil Neck. I'm talking to the man next to you.
Trucker 1: Oh, I got a load of rubber vomit I'm takin' down to Indianapolis.
Trucker 2: Rubber vomit, eh? Did ya hear that, Pencil Neck?
Me: Sir, you're spitting on my liverwurst...
Trucker 2: That's great. I've done that vomit run to Indy a few times myself. And just last week I took a load of whoopy cushions down there. That's a fun city, Indy.
Trucker 1: Yeah, it is. What you carryin' today?
Trucker 2: Nothin' now. I just delivered my load to Pittsburgh.
Trucker 1: What was it?
Trucker 2: I had a double trailer I took from Seattle Washington. One trailer had itching powder, and the other one was filled with those fake ice cubes with the plastic fly inside.
Trucker 1: Those are great. I nearly choked to death on one a those once. Are you going back for more?
Trucker 2: No, I'm supposed to pick up a load of sporks going to Texas somewhere.
Trucker 1: <slapping my back with his remarkably large, hairier than average hand>
Me: <ignoring the searing pain in my upper back> Well, I'm afraid this liverwurst sandwich is a bit runny, and..
Trucker 1: That's great. Hey, there, buddy, I was in Texas last week. Took a load of Cheez Whiz to Austin.
Trucker 2: They do love Cheez Whiz down there, boy. Let's see, last time I went to Austin I had a trailer fulla tooth blackener. It was around Halloween time.
Me: I see you put some on yourself there, sir. Oops, my mistake...
Trucker 2: I remember last Halloween I took a few days off. Then I had to haul a load up to Nome, Alaska, and when I got half way up there, this godawful blizzard struck. It was terrible drivin', let me tell you. I couldn't see barely past my headlights. I almost drove off the road at least a half dozen times. Man, the wind was roaring, snow was everywhere. But I had to get the load up there, them folks was waitin' and I couldn't let 'em down.
Trucker 1: Geez, that's awful, bud. What'd you have in the trailer?
Trucker 2: Pixy Stix. I was a couple hours late, but I got them their Pixy Stix, and man, I really felt like I done somethin' worthwhile, ya know? What the hell is that drippin' all over my boots?
Me: Sorry, sir. It's the liverwurst.
That's about all I remember of the conversation, but it was a real revelation. I now look at our nation's truck drivers with a whole new set of eyes, although, since the swelling has gone down, the left eye is still a little blurry.