Saturday, February 27, 2010

On To Slidell...

Alright guys, check it out. We’re about to cross the Mississippi River. It kind of makes the Kansas River back home look like a creek, doesn’t it? We’re just outside Memphis and should be pulling onto the truck stop in about fifteen minutes or so. What’s that? You say you guys are about to pee your pants. Yeah, me too. But I gotta be honest though. While you guys were sleeping I pulled into a rest area twice on the way here. Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you up. You looked so peaceful and all. I’ll tell you what. I’ll drop you off out front so you can run in and take care of business, I’ll go ahead and fuel up then find us a parking place and meet you inside in about a half an hour or so. And hey, if some of you end up in the restaurant before I get back, save me a seat, will you?

Oh crap! Hey guys, it’s almost 5 o’clock in the morning. We gotta get going. How about we grab a quick breakfast and meet back here in an hour. That way we can get out of town before traffic gets too bad. That’s kind of the way I try to plan my runs. You try to hit the big cities either real early in the morning or real late at night.

I can already tell, it’s going to be a good day to be on the road. Interstate all the way. We’re taking I-55 straight through the heart of Mississippi, and let me tell you, life just doesn’t get much better than that. I don’t know whether any of you have through Mississippi or not. If you have, you know what I‘m talking about. It’s an absolutely beautiful state. Anyway, we’ll stay on I-55 clear into Louisiana where we’ll pick up I-12, then it’s a straight shot to Slidell. Let’s get going. Hey, you want to hand me that Arlo Guthrie CD. Yeah, that’s the one. Sing along if you want. Good morning America, how are ya.

Breaker 1-9, how bout that north-bound cattle truck working his way up to Music Town, you got your radio on? Yeah, you got the Trail Boss here, what can I do for you? Hey thanks Trail Boss, you got Bojangles here. How’s it looking back your way? Oh, Bojangles, be careful out there. The Chicken Coops (weigh stations) are open and it looks like they’re pulling everybody in. Better have all your paper work in line. They’re checking that too. Dang, Trail Boss, you’re just full of good news, aren’t you? He came back and just laughed then said, where you headed anyway, Bojangles? I told him we we’re headed to Slidell to get a little rest. Trail Boss laughed and said, you lie like a dog, Bojangles. You know as well as I do that rest is the last thing on your mind if you’re going to Slidell! Just be careful, Bojangles. This is the Trail Boss and I’m headed to the house. I said, be careful out there, Trail Boss. You got Bojangles on this end and we’re heading south just as fast as this old truck will take us.

I probably should have told you more about the truck stop we’re headed to in Slidell. Let’s see, how do I say this? Hmm, let’s just say it’s not a place you’d want to take your mom to. How’s that?

Anyway, there it is. Let’s see if we can find a parking place. Hey breaker 1-9, you got Bojangles here, where‘s all the trashy (party) people hanging out tonight? Yeah, you got the Alabama Kid here, Bojangles, we‘re all hanging out in the back row waiting for the show to begin. Bring it on back, there’s plenty of room. Hey thanks, Alabama Kid. We’ll be there in a couple of minutes. You guys ready? Here’s the deal. Slidell is a little like Vegas. What happens here, stays here.

Man, I could really use a shower. How about we get cleaned up, get something to eat, and meet back here at the truck around 6 o’clock. A good friend of mine, Billy Cunningham and his wife run the bar across the street and if you’re interested, I’ll buy the first round.

Hey, wait a minute. Did you guys hear that. It sounds like something’s banging on the back of the sleeper. There it is again. Sounds like someone’s crying too. Hear it? I’ll be right back, I’d better check it out.

What the hell!? Bob, what in the world are you doing back here? Man, you could have frozen to death. Are you crazy or something?

Hey guys, look what I found, all shivering and curled up in the fetal position on the deck plate between the cab and the trailer. It’s our buddy, Bob Smith from back home. He says he was coming back from the bathroom back in Memphis when he saw us leaving. He says he ran alongside the passenger side of the truck and even tried banging on the door. Bob, I’m sorry man. I had no idea you were back there. I really thought everybody that was coming along was onboard. If it makes you feel better, from now on, we’ll do a head count before hitting the road. Okay? Now go on, get your butt up there in that truck and get warmed up. Man, I’m getting cold just looking at you.

I’ll tell you what, Bob. Just to prove to you that I still want to be friends, I’ll even buy you a beer tonight. How’s that?

Kevin McGinty

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