I’m sure you all thought the strain of our move and living in the La Quinta Inn among Latin Kings and men who carry 30 packs of Budweiser through the lobby had gotten the best of me. You all probably thought I snapped and actually killed G, landing myself from one cell with a continental breakfast to a prison cell with a cellmate named Rhonda. Well, I did not. I am still alive and…not well, but intact. See, I’ve been on an adventure. An adventure that showcased some special abilities I didn’t even know I possessed. And the timing of this adventure coincided nicely with the conclusion of my 9 year career in Media because while I’m officially going to stay home with the kids and eat 4 lunches a day, I am unofficially on the open job market.
So, let me tell you about this adventure I took. This trip was necessitated by our transient and nomadic lifestyle of moving from the La Quinta (which is Spanish for ‘The Holiday Inn was booked.’) to the guest bedrooms of various family and friends. Family and friends who hate dogs. No, they don’t hate dogs; They just hate our dogs. And I don’t blame them. I hate them even more. To ease the process of jumping around while we house hunt, I decided one of G’s beasts had to go to fat camp on the sprawling acreage owned by G’s family in Maine. “Buh bye, Pooch, enjoy camp. No need for letters.” This meant driving northward for 8 hours. With a dog who paces and barks. And in a truck that has not been serviced in 2 years and has spongy breaks, to put it mildly.
But the best part? G packed the bed of this truck up to the heavens with odds and ends that didn’t fit in the moving truck. It was piled so high that he actually had to construct wooden rails to add to the sides to allow for even more stockpiling. It was then covered over with a blue tarp that was duct taped to the wooden rails. If I had been filming a reality show, this would have been a hybrid of Hoarders, Ice Road Truckers, and My Big Fat Redneck Wedding. Needless to say, early in the trip, the tarp started flapping and then acting as a giant parachute hovering over the highway. I knew something was wrong when I could see the mouths of the drivers behind me form the words, “Holy Shit,” before wildly swerving out of my lane. So at that point, I had to pull over to the shoulder so that I could rip down the remaining tarp. I also had to climb to the top of our pile of junk, much like ascending a landfill, and start ditching items that were sure to fly off and decapitate a fellow motorist. The highway cleanup folks will be thrilled to find a rake, a few board games, and a mattress to a crib. The honking from passing truckers reinforced just how awesome I must have looked, attempting to manipulate bungee cords all while screaming, “Stop ##$*% barking, Maui!”
But I managed to deposit both a rickety truck filled with junk and a dog who needs regular doses of Ritalin to my goal destination, which is how I’ve determined I’m ready for my new career track. It’s a little unconventional, but these are tough times. I’ve decided I’m going into the trucking business. Let me tell you some of my unique qualifications that I’m drafting to major trucking companies just as soon as I’m done here:
1. I can drive a truck that only 3 other people in the Northern Hemisphere know how to drive. Forget 18 wheelers; Try a Ford F150 with no brakes and an interior so red and ugly that it actually blinds most people upon sight.
2. I can drive for hours without needing to stop to pee, thanks to an intense fear of public toilets. And, I wouldn’t be above wearing Depends since any post-delivery mother knows you basically had to wear them for 4 weeks anyway.
3. I am more than happy to honk for kids doing the ‘beep’ arm pull or flipping me off as I pass.
4. I’m really into the old school warning signals that cops are stationed ahead. I would like all motorists to get back to doing that.
5. I was able to last 13 hours in a car that lacked a radio, an air conditioner, electric windows, and Matt Damon as a passenger. That’s roughing it.
There are some ‘technicalities’ I’d rather these trucking companies not know, such as:
1. My spontaneous decisions to abandon cargo on the side of the road.
2. I refuse to wear flannel.
3. I will drive 20 miles out of the way to a Panera rather than stop at a truck stop.
4. I forget to bring my navigation system 9 out of 10 times resulting in missteps like driving through an entire state in the wrong direction.
5. My penchant to talk on my cell phone, despite traffic regulations, the entire time I drive.
6. I don’t want to take too many routes, because of the kids, so I need to ‘double up’ my occupational hours by operating a 900 number while driving. I know what you’re thinking – phone sex seems tawdry, especially when behind the wheel of a big rig. Let me explain. Lack of sleep and insane trips like this has brought about a permanent Demi Moore quality to my voice. And inordinate stress has made me totally comfortable with dropping the F word. Even in front of my mother. So I’m sure I could summon it for a paying customer named Wayne. What else am I going to do to pass the lonely hours on the road?
I have my husband and his long-time co-conspirator, Maui, to thank for my new-found skill set. I think he’ll be really pleased to have me back in the work force and bringing in some extra household income.
Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.
Over and out. Ten four.