Shortage of truth about the shortage

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Updated Jun 25, 2015

Hey, guess what?

There’s a driver shortage. There’s also a shortage of pot-bellied pigs in Vietnam. Also, both of these statements is a filthy lie.

I can boldly proclaim this because I read a lot about pot-bellied pigs the other day, after I thought I saw a tapir standing in a bend of the Burnt River in Oregon. Don’t bother to try and understand that statement, because I’m still not sure how I got from “tapirs in Oregon” to “Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs” in my Google browser. I blame the interwebs.

“Support educational television, y’all – you aren’t just born with life skills like possible tapir sightings in Oregon.”“Support educational television, y’all – you aren’t just born with life skills like possible tapir sightings in Oregon.”

Anyway, we were cruising into Oregon on I-84, beholding some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. I was watching the river, George was paying attention to the road and we passed the weirdest looking deer I’ve ever seen, tucked into a little bend in the river that came fairly close to the highway. The animal I saw was short and fat and looked to be pretty close to the ground. (Of course, we all remember that I don’t have the greatest vision anymore, and I’m too damn vain to get real glasses.) About the time we got almost too far past it for me to see it, the thing raised its head and I swear to you, it had a long, elephantine nose. It didn’t look like a deer, and tapir was the first thing that popped into my mind, because I was raised on Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” and totally know what a tapir is. Support educational television, y’all – you aren’t just born with life skills like possible tapir sightings in Oregon.

I didn’t say anything to George, because (A) he wouldn’t believe me and (B) the last time I told him I saw a wolf in Wyoming, it turned out to be a donkey and I have been teased unmercifully about it for many moons. I did, however, send a message to our buddy Rich Templeton, of Steelhead Finance, which is based in Oregon. Rich is a super nice guy and probably thought I was off my rocker when I sent him a message asking him if there were tapirs in Oregon. He was nice enough to respond without mocking me, and he said that he had never seen one, but had heard there had been sightings.

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Val-i-dation.

I still don’t know how I got to pot-bellied pigs, but in the course of researching the habitat of tapirs, I learned that Vietnam produces a huge number of pot-bellied pigs. Most are eaten, but a lot of them end up as pets. OK, enough about the pigs. There isn’t a shortage of them if there are enough to consume freely and have enough left over to keep as pets.

This brings us to our trucking parallel of the day. (You knew there’d be one.)

There is not a driver shortage. In the words of one keen observer: “There’s not a driver shortage. There’s a shortage of idiots, willing to leave their village to work for certain fleets.”

The truth of the matter is, there are plenty of drivers, just not enough for some fleets to consume as many as they’d like and still be able to keep as many as they need for pets.

There’s no driver shortage, folks, but there are tapirs in Oregon. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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