What missed the cut for 2016

user-gravatar Headshot

snakeskinLike a snake shedding its skin, we’re slowly slithering from under the weight of three hundred and sixty-five calendar days in 2015. Old skin off, new skin all pink, shiny, and waiting to be busted up, because nobody makes it through without a scab and a scar here or there. The scars are to remind us of things we either should or shouldn’t do, and a visual indication of our ability to heal and carry on.

A lot of folks take the new year as an opportunity to bring changes to their lives, and leave their old skin behind so they can grow spiritually, or shrink physically. George and I both have weight-loss goals for the year. My blood pressure has decided to creep up to looking like a Celtics basketball game score instead of a healthy pressure, and being put on medication for it was a heads up to get my crap together and start taking better care of myself. Eating healthier and getting back on a regular exercise program are definitely in order — the days of surviving like a vegetable-abhorring four-year-old have, sadly, come to an end. Sniff.

Neither of us look forward much to dieting. George says we should take our bellies to the bar, get them drunk and sneak out on them. And while that’s a hilarious mental image, it made me wonder how many hearts my good-looking trucker broke before he met me by sneaking out and leaving someone drunk at the bar. (He assures me none, and since I’ve never seen him leave anyone behind anywhere in 20+ years, I believe him.)

One thing I would definitely like to leave behind in 2015 is the constant, unending, ever repeated, mimicked, rehashed, Polly-want-a-cracker answer to anything even vaguely related to a parking shortage: “Truckers are dirty and leave pee bottles everywhere.”

I am. So sick. Of hearing that.

Is it true? Unfortunately, for some of the community, it is. Is it the answer to any of the problems, or even vaguely helpful in any way to add it to a conversation? Hell. No. I’ve written about it before, and I’ll argue the point to anyone.

The fact is, there are filthy people everywhere, and the truckers who litter and throw pee bottles around would be the same people who leave dirty baby diapers and pee bottles in public lots where trucks aren’t allowed. You can’t filter those people, so you fine them. You actually enforce litter laws. You quit wringing your damn hands and crying about how dirty people are and you make them pay for it. I guarantee you the first time someone has to pay a $1,000 fine for leaving a trucker bomb in the Walmart parking lot, they’ll think twice about doing it again. Better yet, enforce community service that requires them to clean parking lots. Hold companies accountable for the actions of their employees on private property. Do something, for the love of God, anything other than make the same redundant statement about how dirty truckers are. Help the many of us who aren’t dirty butts — run the few of us who are out of the parking lots we live in.

I try to keep my New Year’s list short, because I’m realistic and know losing 20 pounds, advocating for the enforcement of litter laws, exercising and eating healthier are probably more than I’ll actually do on a regular basis. I’m human, and that’s probably a better thing to aspire for in 2016, just being as human as possible. It’s easy to feel like a machine on the road, I have to remind George of his human parts a lot sometimes. Wait…that didn’t sound right…I mean his inside parts.

That could possibly be worse.

OK, I’m just not going to say “parts” again. Never mind.

Happy New Year, y’all.

Showcase your workhorse
Add a photo of your rig to our Reader Rigs collection to share it with your peers and the world. Tell us the story behind the truck and your business to help build its story.
Submit Your Rig
Reader Rig Submission