Do it right, even if it’s ugly

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I love watching people watch our truck. Little kids dig the flames and when they’re not absorbed in a screen of some sort, they seem to be delighted when they get close enough to see the full effect of the custom work. George always yanks the horn when he gets an arm pump. It’s a treat for him too, since it’s so rare to roll up on a kid looking out the window. Some of the best days on the road are when we have something cool on the deck that people (and little kids) point at.

Of course it can’t always be cool. For every super-neat load, there’s a warty stepsister, because the universe demands balance, and only Tinker Raasch gets to toodle around with racecars in good weather all the time. (Shout out to Tinker: you know I’m kidding, please don’t slap me. Tinker paid her dues a long time ago, still does in the wintertime when she hauls mail, and after 40 years of dragging things around, she deserves the good loads.)

Hauling giant doors is cool, because they’re tarped and everyone automatically assumes they’re some kind of jumbotron screen. Hauling the guts of a refurbished industrial dryer – not so much.

I wasn’t on the truck for this one — I had old dog and mom duties at home, but when I got the “I’m on the road and safe” call, I knew it had been a long morning.

“I’m rollin’.”

“Awesome! Everything go alright, they get it all on?”

“It’s on. It’s ugly, but it’s secured.”

“You weigh OK?”

“I weigh good. It looks like hell, but it’s not overweight. The deck looks like the Beverly Hillbillies raided a machine shop. It ain’t pretty, but it pays.”

Some days you’re Elvis, some days you’re Jed Clampett.Some days you’re Elvis, some days you’re Jed Clampett.

This is where I make the grave mistake of joking about people staying away from him in traffic because his load looks like something may fall off the deck.

(OK, here’s some information that may assist other people in the future: You never, ever, joke about an open decker’s load looking janky or unsecured. It is a direct insult to their general person, no matter how jokingly you say it. You’re welcome.)

“I’ve got chains, I’ve got straps. That s**t is done right. I’ve got chains on the blah blah, chains on the blah, two straps on the blahbity-blah…”

This is where I zone out, like I did in the movie “Forrest Gump,” when the guy was talking about all the shrimp he made. (I’m sorry, babe, but it can’t be a secret after 22 years that I totally zone out on you sometimes, like when you’re telling me about aperture and lens settings, and I act like I know what you’re talking about? Yeah, about that. I’m usually thinking about floor coverings, or how much a human leg weighs when I nod in agreement. Never take my advice on aperture, but if you ever need tips on floor covering, I’m your girl. Also, an average, 150-lb. human male leg weighs about 26 lbs. I’m a freaking wealth of information today.)

So the point of this meandering and strange journey today is, sometimes you get to be Elvis, and sometimes you’re Jed Clampett, but both of them pay the bills. Do it right, even if it’s ugly.

Be safe out there.