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Downshift
Wisdom from the road

Bill Hudgins
columnist

My friend and longtime driver "Rufus Sideswipe" called the other day to share some of the wisdom he's gathered over the years and miles.

Rufus says he's concerned about safety on the roads and the way truckers are treated, so he offered the following thought-provoking comments on four-wheelers, shippers, receivers, truck stops and the road life in general, in no particular order:

  • Mascara applied at 65 mph doesn't look any better than it would have if you'd put it on in the bathroom before leaving home.
  • Having a close shave in your car is a good way to have a close shave     in your car.
  • This is a mystery - does using two cell phones at once mean you're talking out of both sides of your mouth?
  • Fewer women four-wheelers wear short skirts than you'd believe from listening to the CB. Ditto driving topless, bottomless or both.
  • Female - and male - four-wheelers who do drive more or less in the altogether, take note: wearing clothing while driving should not         be optional for most people.
  • You always hear male truckers talking about women's, ah, specs. You almost never hear women truckers talking about men's. Could it be that there's not that much to discuss? (That one's from Mrs. Rufus.)
  • Walk softly and carry a big stick when going to the back of a truck stop parking lot to buy a brand-new CB for $50.
  • Despite what you may believe, the news in your newspaper won't change between the time you pick it up in your driveway and the time you get to work. So it is not necessary to read it while you drive.
  • Surfing the Internet on your phone while changing lanes is a bad idea.
  • That's a very nice finger - now put it back on the wheel where it belongs and look where you're going.
  • No car's suspension is good enough for a person to apply fingernail polish while driving. This is even more true for toenail polish.
  • Words of advice for new truckers: Your brand-new CDL is worth the paper it's printed on, maybe. So don't tell me how professional a driver you are now; instead, let's meet here a year from now and tell me how much you've learned.
  • A lot of non-professional drivers call us truckers every name in the book. We don't need to help them by calling each other those names, too.
  • If you insist on staying that close to my ICC bumper, let me hand you a paint brush so you can touch up the dents the last guy made.
  • I understand you didn't make your children buckle up or put them in child seats because they were crying. But the laws of physics are deaf and don't care. Imagine how much crying there will be if you have an accident.
  • Contact lenses are wonderful things - but they should be inserted before you leave home.
  • Ah, the romance of the road - I didn't think people could do that in a car.
  • After a sudden stop, your on-the-go breakfast doesn't look nearly as appetizing on you as it did in the wrapper.
  • DOT does not stand for Department of Tribulation, but sometimes it sure seems like it does.
  • How do you know that a shipper didn't pass arithmetic? When they give you a load due to deliver in 10 hours but say you have to call 24 hours ahead of time to make the appointment.
  • If a load is for just-in-time delivery, why do they make you wait four hours to unload it?
  • The new trend at zoos is to not put animals in cages. Too bad some warehouses still haven't adopted this policy for drivers picking up and delivering their products.
  • Call it whatever you like - if it fuels up trucks and feeds truckers and repairs trucks, it's a truck stop. And truckers should come first.
  • Ten years from now, these will be the good old days of trucking.

Bill Hudgins may be reached at billhudgins@earthlink.net.

Aug/Sept Digital Edition