University of Georgia history prof Shane Hamilton’s Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy traces the origin of our low-price, low-wage consumer economy to two elements after the Great Depression: agribusiness and independent truckers. After the 1960s, the independent food haulers, powered in part by none other than Overdrive founder Mike Parkhurst’s shutdowns and other “anarchic neopopulism,” Hamilton argues, contributed largely to the deregulatory political climate of the 1970s and ’80s. Parkhurst sold Overdrive during the post-deregulation era of the mid-’80s, but not before, as he himself put it, dealing a decisive blow to regulated trucking and its “giant rip-off of [consumers’] pocketbooks and their dinner plates.”
The case for better signage
A Texas man was arrested after refusing to pay for a second buffet at an Atlanta-area truck stop diner, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dan Linscomb, of Texas City, reportedly told police his girlfriend “ate a couple bites from his plate.” He added, “There were no signs in the restaurant that said someone could not have some food off your plate.” Linscomb pled guilty to disorderly conduct and was released, the paper reports. We’ll never know whether the lady was nibbling or chowing down, but it sounds like an endorsement for much-maligned truck stop cuisine.
Achy breaky hanky tanky
“Hang 12″ is the motto of Hanky Tanky LLC, makers of the Hanky Tanky Hanger, aimed in part at long-haul truckers looking to maximize cab storage space – and keep the threads wrinkle-free. As for the name, it springs from the hanger’s origins in the mind of one Chrissie Thompson of Georgia (pictured, with hanger) looking for a way to hang tank tops and other items and conserve space. We think it begs for a particular pop-country spokesman. Think “Achy Breaky Heart,” replace with “Hanky Tanky Hanger,” and see if an infectious little jingle doesn’t pop into your head.
From the Channel 19 blog:
One man’s bailout plan
As the financial system tanked in October, owner-operator Patrick Kane put his tractor’s exterior space up for bid on eBay. Starting with a reserve bid of $7,000, he hoped to get at least enough to cover the cost, installed, of an auxiliary power unit. He offered the space for presidential campaign ads in key Eastern states. Kane claimed an APU would save him “$20,000 a year in diesel fuel.” Number of bids he got: zero.
Not so quick with that fast-forward
Tired of junk e-mail telling you the Swiffer Wet Jet could kill your cat? Ohio trucker Suzanne Roquemore recently took one small step toward truth by joining the Facebook group “Check snopes.com before you send me this crap!” Snopes.com provides verified background on misinformation propagated in the Internet rumor mill and elsewhere. “I don’t get much trucking spam,” Roquemore says. “Most of that is confined to the CB Radio. If the CB could send out spam, there would be some good ones out there!”
For your daily dose of trucking humor, oddities and coverage in the media, visit: www.channel19.blogspot.com.
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