We’ve met a lot of foreign travelers this summer. Apparently, Europeans think it’s awesome to come to America and hang out at truck stops. Actually, I figured out that most of the people we’ve met at the truck stops are part of bus tours, and they get out and roam around the fuel stops because Greyhound sightseeing consists of Loves, Petro and TA – on the way to the Grand Canyon.
George is a very friendly (and not bad looking) guy. He has a hard time saying “no” to people who want to climb all over the truck and take pictures of it. I am also friendly, but don’t have a problem telling someone no, especially if I’m cranky and it’s been a long day.
It had just happened to be a long day when we pulled into the TA in Oklahoma City. All I was interested in was getting some hot food and going to bed. I left George doing his post trip and all the paperwork stuff he does at the end of the day, to go in and use the bathroom and scout out the food situation.There were two travel buses in the lot, which usually means the food situation is going to be a nightmare. One bus was full of soccer kids (fate worse than death – have you ever tried to get food in a place full of 13-year-olds pumped up from a soccer match?), the other bus full of French supermodels. Wait, what? I kept looking around, and sure enough, weaving in and out of the sweaty 13-year-olds was a proliferation of gorgeous, leggy, dark-haired beauties speaking French. This was not welcome information to wrinkly, stuffed-in-a-truck-for-days me. The combination of adolescence and natural beauty tweaked my cranky meter to 11. I had firmly decided we were eating dinner in the truck and blasting off from this wretched hell as soon as we could move again.
As I was dragging myself back to the truck, I noticed George standing beside it, with about a dozen gorgeous women surrounding him. There were boobs and legs as far as the eye could see, with a very uncomfortable looking George floating in the midst of them. Of course, there was a guy with a camera, shouting directions in a foreign language, and the girls snapped into place and put on “camera face” while they draped themselves all over our truck and had their pictures made. I waited for the photo session to end before sauntering up to Mr. Parker.
“Uh, just what the hell is going on here?”
“Hey babe! Hey – this is my wife, Wendy, I was telling you about…”
None of the girls cared, they were busy having their pictures made.
“Is this the George Parker fan club?”
“Ha ha! No. They’re on their way to Vegas for a teen model competition.”
“These girls are teenagers? Holy guacamole. I was under the impression you had to be 18 to get breast implants. Good lord.”
“I know, right?”
The look I gave him withered flowers four miles away.
“Not that I was looking. I’m just agreeing with you. Let’s go get something to eat.”
“We’re eating in the truck. There are forty-leven kids in there from a soccer bus, we’ll never get our food.”
“Awesome! What are you making?”
Another look that incinerated three moths who happened to be in the direct line of fire.
“I’m making shit sandwiches. Ask your new female friends if they’d like some.”“They’re not my friends, they just wanted pictures of the truck.”
About that time, the little picture party broke up and the girls started wandering off toward their bus. On cue from the camera guy, they all turned around and blew a kiss to George and shouted, “Merci!”
I could smell the panic, and I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
Sometimes, it’s hard to have the prettiest truck in the lot.
The strike was spurred by the Teamsters Union Local 848. The union alleges ...