We were talking trucking with some folks the other day, like we’ve done pretty much every day of our lives for the past 6 years, and I made the comment, “If we’d known then what we know now…”, which is a cliche I usually stay away from, because it’s stupid. If you knew yesterday what you know now, it would be tomorrow.
Now hush up, because we’re perilously close to tearing a hole in the space-time continuum, and if I dare talk about today like I know what’s going to happen tomorrow, things could get foggy and we might have to sacrifice a goat, or at the very least make mean faces at a chicken to get the universe back on track again.
Where were we?
Oh yeah, I was being cliche and it reminded me of the Blind Seer in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou,” which is one of the best movies ever made in the history of movies, and one of our personal favorites.
I thought of the Blind Seer and his prophetic soliloquy to the trio of misfits, and how the very same sage advice could be used at the beginning of any trucking career — you know, “yesterday” before now. Don’t try to make sense of it, just move along:
You seek a great fortune, you who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first … first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a … a cow … on the roof of a cottonhouse, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.
Find a new driver who doesn’t seek great fortune in the industry. Hell, we all thought we’d be rich and retired by now, didn’t we Dennis and Michelle, Tony and Bill and Bob?
I joke – I believe we all knew we weren’t going to be rich, but I don’t think many folks go into trucking for fun. There’s money in it, but the fortune lies in the travel, the “long and difficult road … fraught with peril.”
You will most definitely see “thangs.” And although we’ve yet to see a cow on the roof of a cottonhouse, we have seen a chicken on the catwalk of a Freightliner. That’s the dang truth, right there.
More often than not, the “startlements” occur in restrooms. I’m just gonna leave it at that.
It is definitely a long road, with obstacles such as cavernous pot holes and freakishly large chunks of pavement missing from really pertinent areas of highway – like on bridges and stuff. Seriously, after you roll across some of the total crap we call an infrastructure for several hundred thousand miles, you will have an appreciation for the fates who “vouchsafed your reward.”
Your heart will grow weary. Home is so far away sometimes, it’s physically painful to think about it. But the same road that takes you away, brings you back, and salvation is yours for the taking.
God bless the truckers.