Well, to start off, I mentioned in my last article that some new additions were going to be added to The Brain. There was a slight delay, so stay tuned to hear about them next time!
In the meantime, I'm gonna use the words of Usher Raymond IV, "These are my confessions
Just when I thought I said all I can say."
I thought I'd take a minute to confess a few things that have happened to me in my years of trucking. I'm sure a few will have some "mmmm hmmm" moments because you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I'll probably be leaving all the really juicy stories out. Who am I kidding? I don't lead that kind of lifestyle!!
First and foremost is messing my pants. A wise man once told me that any trucker who said they've never messed their pants is a liar. That could be either poop or pee. I remember one night at a Petro in Pennsylvania, I parked for the evening and that all too familiar tummy gurgling feeling came upon me. I sat in my driver's seat a minute to sort of let that storm settle. Just when I thought it was safe to make a move to head into the truck stop to use the bathroom, I sneezed!! Suddenly the need to use the bathroom turned into the need to use the shower.
Another bathroom confession is holding the need to use the bathroom for longer than necessary to avoid getting stuck behind a slow vehicle or an oversized load. The other day, some oversized house movers were pulling onto the interstate behind me. I wanted to stop at the rest area to use the bathroom before I headed into heavy traffic, but I thought if I pulled over for a couple of minutes, I would be stuck behind them up the road. So instead, I held it in, and by the time I got to a safe place where I thought they would probably go in the opposite direction, I was just about bursting! Suddenly the thought process of what I had done kicked in and I had to wonder if it was worth it.
I have taken a few freebies when offered to me by a customer. Most just range from cookies to granola bars, but the best was a free spray tan while I waited to load tanning beds. Try explaining to everyone back at work why you have a golden beach tan when all you did was go to Ohio and back.
I have never bought anything out of the trunk of a car, no matter how good the deal is. This applies to C.B.s, X-rated videos, stun guns and tacos. I'm sure more items have been offered up in the past, but this is what I remember off the top of my head.
I've fibbed once or twice to try to get unloaded early. You know, when you have an 11 pm appointment, and you show up at 11 am pretending you read the itinerary wrong. It hasn't worked yet, but I'm hopeful that maybe once, it will be in my favour.
Every once in a while in the U.S., I'll chat with a guy while waiting at a customer's or in the parking lot of a truck stop. I am the one dancing around in the parking lot by my truck, so I can see how this screams, "approachable." On occasion, they ask for my number, and I say that my phone only works in Canada and I cannot call any U.S. numbers. Very lame excuse, but I'm not quick on my feet, and that's the first thing that comes to mind. I suppose if I was really interested, I might consider the exchange of numbers, but it's usually the ones that give off a strange vibe that want to carry the conversation further. Now that I think about it, maybe I'm the one with the strange vibe that's like a beacon that attracts them!!
One little tidbit that other drivers find a bit interesting is when I tell them I don't smoke or drink coffee. It's often assumed that as a trucker, you must do one or the other. In my defence, I'm a snacker. It's the whole reason I get out at the end of the day to Sweat to the Oldies or throw air punches and kicks.
In my very early days of driving, I had to ask another driver to back in at a dock for me. I'm sure I struggled for what seemed like an hour. Traffic was backing up down the street that I was trying to back in off of, and I was beyond frustrated. I'm embarrassed to say that I just gave up, but at the time, I thought I would cause damage if I kept at it. Even though I still have days when I struggle, I would never let a soul sit in my driver's seat and do it for me now. There are very few people that I would feel comfortable with driving The Brain.
I apologize if these aren't the juicy stories you thought you would hear about life on the road. I still have lots of trucking years ahead of me, so maybe the really good stuff is yet to come. I'm really not that exciting of a person when it comes down to it. Loud and colourful, sure! Exciting, not so much!