We’ve all heard the monkey and crocodile story, but I have a different take on it — and it’s probably a glaring example of why I don’t write children’s books.
An old crocodile was laying on the bank of the river, flopping around and trying desperately to get a bone he had lodged between his teeth to come loose. Short arms defied the croc, and thrashing his giant head just lodged the bone deeper.
On the same bank, a little monkey watched from the safety of the trees. He too had an issue — he needed to get across the river to his family, but he knew if he swam alone, he’d be eaten alive. He called down to the croc, “Mister Crocodile, I can help you, but you have to promise not to eat me. My hands are small, and my fingers are long. I can get the bone out of your teeth, but I need safe passage across the river.”
The crocodile was in agony from the bone, he agreed immediately to the terms the monkey set forth, and the monkey climbed down from the trees. He carefully extracted the bone, and the grateful crocodile prepared to take the monkey across the river. “Get in my mouth, monkey. If you ride on my back, you won’t be safe, I’ll take you across in my mouth, you’ll be safe from the other crocs there for sure.”
The trusting monkey did as the croc said, and crawled into his gaping maw. He realized his mistake immediately, but it was too late. As the croc began to apply killing pressure with his formidable jaws, the monkey cried, “But Mister Crocodile, we had an agreement! I helped you and you were supposed to keep me safe!”
The enormous croc finished the monkey in one bite and chuckled to himself, “Stupid monkey. I am a crocodile, I eat monkeys — it’s what I do. It was a monkey bone you pulled from my teeth, so I could eat you easily and without pain. You are safe, monkey. You’re safe in my belly and you’ll ride across the river with me to eat your family soon.”
OK, so it’s definitely not Disney, but old proverbial stories rarely are. First off, the monkey wasn’t an orphan, which definitely makes it non-Disney, and second – it ends horribly. Stories like this one originated long before Walt ever waltzed in with happy endings, and they were told because the elders wanted the young ones to know that a crocodile is a crocodile, regardless of what it calls itself, and it will eat you whole if you let it.
Now, we’re obviously not hanging out with a bunch of crocodiles these days, but the general idea can be applied anywhere, and you know there’s a trucking analogy wrap up here, because it’s me – and that’s what I do.
The crocodiles are coming for the independent owner operators. They’re coming for the very people we need on the road – the seasoned professionals who actually have something to lose. We’re about three quarters of the way into this story with that current situation. Unfortunately, they’ve had their teeth picked and huge numbers have crawled into their mouths for the ride across the river in the name of safety, and they’ve been gobbled up. No one is safer for it, and the crocodiles know that, but they’ve got three years’ lag time on their data, and most of them will have long been across the river, had their fill and moved on up the food chain by the time they would be brought to task for it.
This is an election year, also known as crocodile mating season, and the only way to keep those bastards on the other side of the river is to quit feeding them. I encourage each of you to stop spending time on the circus that is the presidential election and focus on the members of congress who have been swimming and feeding on the banks of the river for years now, muddying the water enough to keep things mystical to the general public. If they haven’t made progress in their efforts in a reasonable amount of time, get rid of their butts.
Do a little research, call the offices of the officials up for election and tell them, “Hey, I’m a trucker, I’d like to know what you’re going to do for me if you’re elected.” Write letters, speak up, and pay attention to the background music – the buffoonery they’re prancing around in the center ring is smoke and mirrors, people. The real action is behind the scenes, where they dispose of the elephant poop.