Line One
Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRY to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources — their zeal to protect turkeys may have created a roadside distraction instead. Officials are using “Robo Turkey,” a robotic gobbler that rotates its body and fans its tail in an effort to attract roadside poachers. The device is used in northern Michigan. Sgt. Greg Drogowski, of the DNR’s law-enforcement division in Gaylord, MI, said the bird has attracted “more than one” curious onlooker, some of whom start using turkey calls, The Associated Press reports. The bird cost about $1,000 and was donated to the state by the National Wild Turkey Federation. The fake turkey isn’t bulletproof, though a replacement head came with it.

Several OOIDA members give a RAZZBERRY to truckstops that charge a fee for Internet access. Member Craig Wahnish’s comments are typical: “I feel [Flying J’s] recent actions are not in the best interest of drivers. It appears they are now making us pay to plug our laptops into the data ports located in the driver’s lounge and restaurant. This used to be free, but now you have to either swipe a credit card or your frequent fueler card to gain access.” Flying J’s Web site explains drivers can get “high-speed access at dial up prices” — 10 cents per minute or 5 cents per minute when using a PDCA card. “Granted, this is not much,” Craig says. “But I already pay for a 1-800 access number, plus a per minute charge. Why should I have to pay more just to plug into their phone jack? It looks to me that this is more gouging of an already over-gouged industry.”

OOIDA member Jack Bailey of Fullerton, NE, gives a ROSE to Sharon Bligh, a cashier at Mr. Fuel in Foristell, MO. Jack withdrew a considerable sum from an ATM and drove to Mr. Fuel, but left his wallet inside. “I got that sick feeling when I realized I had left my billfold behind,” Jack recalled. “There was quite a bit of cash in there. I called Mr. Fuel and talked with Sharon, and she told me the wallet would be waiting with all the cash inside. The next time I see her, I’m going to give her a hug and slip her a couple of 20s.”

ROSE to truckdriver Fred Scoglietti, who was eastbound on I-480 Feb. 13 in Twinsburg, OH, when he saw an elderly woman lying on the ground waving an ice scraper. Fred jumped a fence and ran down an embankment to help the woman. She had been lying there about 20 minutes, and hypothermia was starting to set in. Fred carried the woman to her car, drove her home and called 9-1-1. The woman apparently had fallen, and the scraper was all she could reach. She had cuts and bruises, a broken shoulder and leg, and is now recovering in a nursing home. Thanks to Fred, who works for Stack Container Services, Euclid, OH.

A Land Line reader from Sioux Falls, SD, gives a RAZZBERRY to a certain insensitive DOT official at a Montana weigh station. Here’s her story: “I was pulled into the weigh station and told to bring my paperwork in with me. When I pulled off the scale, I had a green light. I got on my radio and said I had a green light, but he told me to pull in anyway … (When) I headed out the door of the scale house, (the officer said to another waiting driver): `I just wanted to see her walk away and watch her a …’” The reader adds: “Women should not have to tolerate this treatment by anyone, let alone by an officer of the state of Montana.”

ROSE to quick-thinking truckers who formed a rolling blockade on I-40 near Knoxville, TN, that allowed a student pilot who had run out of fuel to land safely on the busy highway. Cpl. Dewayne Drinnen, the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department, told The Associated Press: “He (the pilot) started slowly descending, and two truckdrivers saw him coming, and they slowed down. They were real observant in suspecting he had engine trouble.” The creeping trucks blocked traffic on the four-lane highway long enough for the pilot to land in front of the trucks. The incident occurred April 12 in the eastbound lanes, near the 365-mile marker. The truckers did not stick around long enough for officials to get their names or the companies they represented.

by Dick Larsen, senior editor Dick Larsen can be reached at