When most people travel, there’s a destination involved. This destination usually involves hotels, or family homes in which there are facilities to cook and eat, or at least a decent restaurant with a salad bar. When truckers travel, their destination involves running paperwork into a stinky warehouse, unhooking a trailer, scouring the lot (which could be as much as a square mile across) for the trailer they’re picking up, hooking and running to the next place to do it all over again. No one is there to welcome them. No one has a meal prepared when they get there. As a matter of fact, most places act as if the truckers are some kind of vermin. They forbid them from parking on their lots to sleep and hassle them about stupid things like wearing safety glasses while walking inside to get paperwork. I find this ridiculous, because none of these places (or people) would be able to run their business without the service. Truckers bring you everything you consume. In turn, the things they consume are taken on the run, bought at truck stops and eaten while wrestling giant trucks and listening to bizarre things on the CB.
Most truck stops attempt to offer fruit and yogurt, but the bananas and apples they sell are questionable at best, not to mention the fact that they cost three times as much as a burger. I actually saw a chicken salad sandwich that was dated February 15 on the 11th of May in the cold case once. You better pray to God no trucker actually eats that sandwich, because I can assure you that projectile vomiting will cause him to take his eyes from the road and careen into your family at a high rate of speed.
Two days into the trip, I was craving something besides grapes and apple slices. I really wanted a big salad, but when I asked if there was a salad bar at the truck stop, they judged me.
“Salad bar? Well, there’s one at the Shoney’s a mile down the road, but they don’t allow truck parking.”
This gave me pause, and I wondered how the hell the Shoney’s got anything delivered if they didn’t allow trucks to park. Was there someone riding in the trailer, throwing boxes at Shoney’s as the truck whizzed by?
I sighed, picked up a couple of boiled eggs and walked to the counter where my husband waited patiently.
“What are you doing with those?”
“I’m going to stick them in my ears and do the Easter Bunny dance. What the hell do you think I’m gonna do with them? I need some food that doesn’t involve horrible chemicals. I’m starting to glow in the dark.”
“You’re not eating those and getting back in my truck.”
“And just why the hell not?”
“Mostly because they’re probably a month old and I don’t feel like dealing with you tripping on bad boiled eggs while I’m trying to drive. Also, they cause gastric distress.”
“Did you just say gastric distress?”
“Yes I did. Now get a granola bar and let’s go.”
“I’m going to die of malnutrition. How does the DOT feel about you transporting dead bodies in the cab?”
“I don’t know, but if you don’t hurry up, we’re gonna find out.”