years ago, on a sunny summer Sunday, I left the company yard in Delta BC at
dawn and headed east. As the old Gord Lightfoot song goes, I was, "Alberta
Bound." As a part-timer, I usually drove whatever moved, but today I was
lucky – a well-kept Kenworth with a Cat
engine and all the bells and whistles was mine. Mary Ann and Ben (not their
real names) had to take some time off and were willing to lend their baby to a
still morning as I passed by Merritt and started the long and slow climb to
Helmer Lake. The traffic was light, and I was in the slow lane, well out of
everybody's way, but frequently checking for any trouble catching up to me.
A shiny new black 4x4 pickup (of the make greatly favoured by those not known
for their patience) appeared in my mirror. It was towing a matching toy hauler,
and no licence plate adorned its front bumper. As it quickly caught up to me, I
could see a clean-cut looking young couple inside. "Probably some outdoor enthusiasts,
getting an early start on the Sicamous –
Calgary Sunday afternoon rush-hour," I thought as I looked away, expecting
them to fly by me any second.
as the pickup came abreast of me, slowed down, and began pacing me. "Something
wrong with my trailer?" I wondered as I glanced down into the pickup. Looking
back at me was a pretty young woman wearing dark sunglasses, and further
investigation revealed that the shades were all she was wearing! Now, I
was brought up right, and my first reaction was to avert my eyes back to the
road ahead. The pickup did not move. "Maybe I'm imagining things," I
thought, as I looked down again, but no, Lady Godiva was still there, staring
up at me stone-faced,
with not even a hint of a smile. Even my best imitation of the Alfred E. Neuman
grin failed to budge her cold, somewhat disapproving look, making me feel like
I was the one in the birthday suit…
staring contest went on for a while longer, and then the pickup accelerated out
of view, leaving me shaking my head. I could hardly wait to tell my better half
as I reported my safe arrival in Calgary that evening! If I was hoping to get a
woman's perspective on this strange encounter, I was disappointed. "Must
be a full moon out there!" she giggled.
return trip was scenic and uneventful. I arrived in the yard just after dark.
Ben and Mary Ann were unloading their car, ready to take over. "Everything's
good - but you won't believe what happened," I said, eager to tell them my
story. I wasn't even halfway through my tale when Ben's
mouth started breaking into a grin, while Mary Anne's decidedly moved in the
opposite direction. "Hookers," she growled, apparently not very fond
of political correctness or the world's oldest profession. She then explained
how this brand of mobile advertising is relatively common in the Deep South.
subject really got her going, and Ben and I had to take a step back as she
started swinging an imaginary fish bonker through an imaginary window while
yelling, "how would you like some of this over your head YOU HUSSY!"
She must have been a frightening sight to anyone expecting to see a frisky
lover boy behind the wheel of their rig.
admit that I felt a bit silly at missing the obvious, but given all the
circumstances (and did I mention it was a Sunday!), I could see how I failed to
connect all the dots. But as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed, and the
next miscreant was going to get a sardonic smile and a look of bored
indifference - yep, I was ready! But of course, nothing like this ever happened
again. Maybe we're more law-abiding, or it's just too darn cold up here. But I
still wonder what was in that toy hauler…