George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Observations from the dark side

MATS PP Lot (800x475)

We’re at MATS this week, enjoying ourselves with the good people we always get to see at shows. OOIDA was good enough to save us a spot beside their stage at the Papa John’s Stadium, and clearly, that’s where the real show is. We’ve been treated to everything from open-mic night to a bunch of truckers in drag, raising money for charity by being hideous women. (Sorry guys, it was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a long time, but y’all don’t make pretty women.)

This is the first time we’ve been at the Papa John’s lot, and it’s a good bet we won’t be parking anywhere else from now on – if we can find a space available. It filled up fast, and those coming in Thursday night had a hard time. I was told there were about six trucks the police threatened to tow, because they were on the other side of the line in a vast and empty adjoining lot. I guess they were bothering the imaginary people around them in some way.

Here are a few observations from the peanut gallery. The shuttle buses from the lot to the convention center are awesome and really appreciated, however, it did not go unnoticed that we were taken around to the back of the building – past rows and rows of limos and livery cars – to be loaded and unloaded. Even at our own show we have to use the back door. And I’m fairly willing to bet no one riding in the backs of all those shiny black cars make their living with their own CDL.

It also bears to be noted that the director of the whole shindig is woefully unavailable to answer questions about press passes. While I’d like to imagine there was some completely explainable reason my press pass was given at registration and suddenly rescinded at the show itself, I’ll never actually know, because no one was ever able to take five minutes for a conversation about it. I think it’s pretty funny that one of the only people requesting a press pass who actually makes a living on the road was denied one. That brings me to my last point.


VIDEO: MATS 2013 walk-through

Owner-operator George Parker shot the walk-through vid during his miles of exploration of the show floor in the mammoth Kentuck Expo Center with a GoPro ...

These shows aren’t necessarily geared towards “Joe Trucker.” An insane amount of money is spent on exhibits, and the big boys who spend this money aren’t doing it to appease the guy who buys one truck. They’re after the big cheese – the people riding in the black limos that are allowed to use the front door. The ones who have purchasing power and are ordering fleets of vehicles. They ain’t one-at-a-timing here, folks.


Dinosaurs and pretty girls

Wendy's first day at GATS 2013 saw her taking around a dinosaur for pictures on the show floor and elsewhere for Hunter, a child in ...

Here’s my suggestion – if you can only go to one show next year, skip this one and head for GATS in Dallas. It’s a smaller show (so you might actually be able to see everything, instead of wandering around in concentric circles all weekend) and the exhibits are more geared towards the regular, everyday trucker. If you do go to MATS, take the time to go over to the stadium parking lot and rub elbows with the regular guys – we’ve met some of the most decent human beings on this earth in that parking lot, and you don’t need a press pass to do that.

  • JJMcClure

    I’ve never been to MATS, but have been to enough shows of the like and always felt it was not for the regular Joe. That’s why I don’t bother going.

  • M.Books

    I have been there, and wish I could have gone again this year.

  • James

    I’m still wondering about that revoking your Press Pass deal. Sounds like the Supreme Snub to me. If you can track down the “Decision-Maker” who dropped THAT particular ball,it may be worth mentioning that,while you understand things like this happen from time to time,you have a huge family of truckers who may or may NOT be so well versed in these social graces,and you can’t stop them if they decide to exact revenge for this insult,tomorrow or a year down the road. Not a threat by ANY means-just trying to give fair warning….In the meantime,you and George are welcome anywhere WE happen to be-you’re family.

  • JJMcClure

    screw MATS

  • guest

    Yep truck drivers are merely servants….the Rich and their Punk Boys like yer dispatcher….will be riding in those Limos…….remeber yer place slave….you will enter the building with the other hired help..near the trash cans. These “shows” are only a joke to pacify low IQ’d dopes….the RICH leave the show laughing about how much MONEY they are stealing.

  • g

    The Limos are paid for with Money made from ripping off truckers….all the Fancy crap those Rich people have is made off truckers. The trucker is a chump being raped by those rich thieves……they feel the trucker is too stupid to figure it out….they rub the truckers nose in it by flaunting their Limos and High Living…..the Lear Jet is waiting at the airport for them too. The trucker can saunter back to his tin box on wheels while they head for the Hyatt Regency……….level playing field??? hahahahahah

  • g

    Yep..the decision makers dont want to mingle with any commoners… can be there will be a section for servant/trucker and one for the RICH………this is all a performance…..pretending that they have any interest in anything but Screwing the trucker…..never take these millionaires seriously…..they actually just laugh at truckers and cant wait to rip them off!! Same crap every year..a charade…..while truckers get more screwed.

  • Thom

    Careful on the dispatchers… Some, like me, fought their way through the ranks as drivers and, most days, I feel like a slave as I also act as the fill-in driver (seems like all the drivers want off at the same time.).

    As for the upper crust in my company, I hate to agree but the top 2 wouldn’t waste the urine if you were on fire.Wendy, you and George are welcome to any show/rally/backyard bbq ANYTIME. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.