George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Navigating the intricate levels of trucking BS

| October 19, 2016

You can consider this the “Wendy Parker version” of loosely organized and personally researched guidelines to trucking bulls**ters, or enjoy it for what it is, which is a compendium of observations from my last few years on the road.

Truckers are fantastic BSers. It comes with the territory. They have a lot of time on their hands to think, and telling stories is just one of the things Sunday School teachers warned us about when we had “idle thinking time” instead of focusing on Jesus and being good. It happens, them preachers weren’t lyin’. I can personally testify.

Because not all Counter of Knowledge BS is created equal ...

Not all Counter of Knowledge BS is created equal …

There are several distinct levels of trucker BS. All of them are somewhat entertaining, but the gold standard club membership is running with (or behind) a pack of crusty old Nebraska livestock haulers, flat-out strollin’ across Ohio, listening to them swap CB stories in the middle of the night. I’m almost inclined to believe, or at least start the rumor, that livestock haulers are the reason the term ever originated. So we’re going to go ahead and give the crown and glory to crusty old livestock haulers for premium standard, straight-faced, practiced BS.

(Thank you for making our lives more entertaining. And I never once really believed you hauled hamsters you could get to load and offload through the little holes in your cow sled. But it was a magnificent story. Also, I’d bet my eye teeth you ain’t got a speed limiter on that KW, no matter how many times you say you do, because even with a headwind and Pittsburgh Power, we never saw ya. You were a ghost in the wire. it was awesome.)

First-level BS is basic in every way. The CB Rambo, who thinks he or she is Billy or Ballerina Badass just because they’re issuing faceless threats, talking filthy trash and telling blatant lies while they run away. In the world of actual BSers, the CB Rambo is an annoyance, and immediately marked as an amateur. In the world of regular people who are forced to listen to their crap, FYI: we hate you. Go away. There’s a distinct difference between being a BSer and plain old BS. Remember that.

Next level BS is a lot more polished, and requires subcategories, because not all “Counter of knowledge” BS is equal. It fluctuates in flavor and content according to the territory it lies within.

“Counter of knowledge” BS is generally a much higher quality than that of the CB Rambo, because the BSer has perfected the story, and their ability to act like an adult long enough to sit at the big kids table. They hone their tales to such a high level that they can tell them fluidly, in person, face to face with other humans present who may or may not question their BS. This not only requires forethought, it requires preparation in the form of rehearsing rebuttals and rehashed misinformation. There’s an art to it.

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Here’s where the subcategories come in.

Your regular old Denny’s-at-the-PFJ Counter of Knowledge is the starting point for many an aspiring BSer, and subcategory one. Unfortunately, it’s also the most abundant and cheapest place to eat breakfast while pontificating, so the BS is standard-level at best — a lot of not-so-newbies still wet enough behind the ears to tell stories about calling the U.S. Marshall out when the scale house wouldn’t let them park and sleep their ten. You get the picture. Junior high school level entertainment with a four-dollar breakfast. Not the worst thing in the world, but the BS and the eggs certainly get fresher.

Subcategory two is the Skillet, which is admittedly not a giant leap from Denny’s-quality BS, but they’re more expensive and somewhat less abundant, so you get a little more experienced crowd. Some of those issuing forth knowledge have actually been around long enough to have pertinent information, and are happy to share it, if you’ll listen to a modicum of BS along with it. It’s a small price to pay, and the breakfast food is less-than-atrocious when you order it fresh. Beware the buffet.

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Fiction posing as fact at the Counter of Knowledge

Fiction posing as fact at the Counter of Knowledge

Enter any truck stop that has a “Counter of Knowledge,” sit down close enough to hear what they're saying and listen. You will be amazed ...

The third and final subcategory you’ll find around the independent Mom and Pop truck stop coffee counters. These are stellar venues for the polished BSer, and an arena in which amateurs are chewed up and spit out immediately. Gnarly, tough and tanned farm folk often populate these counters, because fun fact – the few true Mom and Pops that remain are largely supported by agricultural trucking.

Which brings us back to top-of-the-line BS, the aforementioned livestock haulers, and what makes these places BS gold standard. It’s also the place you get a real ham steak and two eggs so fresh they never got cold before Mavis cracked them and scrambled them for you. Superior in every way, and like the BSers who frequent them, a dying breed.

So there you have it. Take it for what you will and use the information for good instead of evil. I’ve got a lot of repenting to do for them Sunday School teachers…. Help a sistah out.

Conversation starters at the counter of knowledge

Conversation starters at the counter of knowledge

AKA “fun facts to know and forget.” Sometimes, making conversation on the road is hard.

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