Date: Sometime last year

Place: Somewhere on I-80 near Chicago

To: Brian Barlow, B&M Services, Location Update

Long night last night. Didn’t leave the shipper until 2:00 AM. Later… I was driving along observing all the rules and keeping all the laws (of course), and this unexpected mountain came along and plopped itself on the horizon. My worst fear came to pass, and my brakes went out on a fully loaded trailer, and I went hurtling down the mountain.

As the scenery flashed by, I noticed a large group of veteran truck drivers all gaping at me with their teeth in their mouth. Strangely, some of them did not have teeth. That proved to be my undoing because the sight of toothless truck drivers was rather unnerving because I remembered the dentist telling me last week how important it is to get a check-up every six months. The steering wheel suddenly morphed into a giant Ferris wheel proving most difficult to grasp, but I did indeed keep at least one hand on the wheel while using the other hand to push the flying hair out of my eyes so I could see more clearly. But when I looked again, the gaping men had turned into the rocks of Stonehenge, and the stones didn’t have teeth either. Weird. Luckily, I was able to steer between two of the giant stones with only a 3″ scratch along the entire 75 feet of my truck and trailer menagerie, and we just kept on bouncing down that mountain.

It was a serious crisis; however, I continued to hold on tight while navigating crazily through the rocks, narrowly missing the pigeons and turtles and other sea faring reptiles. In spite of my breath holding and teeth gritting and eye scrunching, I careened around a curve, and jolted up the other side of the mountain, and that 80,000 pound bucket of bolts just kept on going. My GPS was hollering obscenities at me, but could I help the situation? No, I could not. We plunged up the other side of the next mountain and hurtled over the next ridge.

Finally, as a last ditch effort, I remembered my air brakes which I engaged by punching a large green button on my CB mike which resulted in a gigantic pink parachute contraption shooting out from the back of the trailer. However, the parachute proved to be far too flimsy for the velocity, probably because it was just so…so…pink. To my great alarm, the parachute was soon shredded by the tornado-like activity swirling all around me. I noticed I was being thoroughly scrutinized by a snooping satellite which grinned menacingly from the stratosphere above as the pink parachute streamers billowed behind us shouting, “Look at me, everybody!” The satellite did have teeth.

I wondered where the cops were hiding, as well as the game wardens since the last of the red speckled turtle species were in serious danger of being smashed as we continued to bounce along. I also wondered why in the heck Volvo doesn’t do a better job on their parachutes since they are supposed to be such a high-fallutin’ establishment.

We continued to hurtle, and I saw all nine, plus two, which makes twelve, of my lives flash by in Technicolor as we came to a screeching halt just before going off a seventy-six foot cliff. I scrambled out of my truck with only three broken legs and four bruised cheeks and ran around surveying the damage. To my great dismay, I found that every single tire on both truck and trailer was ripped to shreds with trails of burnt rubber streaking far behind into the horizon as though the truck had been dipped into an ink bottle the size of New Mexico. That made no sense at all since I was in Illinois. My entire livelihood, my lovely Volvo Bernice, and my best trailer 1021 (best since it was my only trailer) teetered on the edge of the mountain like a giant see-saw.

I watched in horrified fascination as both truck and trailer, hinged at the king pin, sawed up and down like the motion of a colossal violin bow, creating the same haunting scratchy noise as one might imagine played by Paul Bunyan on his giant fiddle. Frantically, I ran to the back of the trailer, grabbed the fender, dug my heels into the rocks, and held on with all my might. But alas, in spite of my heroic efforts, both Bernice and 1025 hurtled down Mount Whatsit making a mighty splash into Lake Michigan just one inch from Chicago on the map.

The first thing I thought was, “Uh oh, Brian isn’t going to like this.”

The second thing I thought was, “Cool! I still have teeth.”

Then I woke up.

When I reported this incident to my boss Brian, he replied dryly, “Well, at least you woke up.”

Man, the nightmares I endure trying to be a truck driver and keep the nice equipment nice.

PS. Bernice was the name of the truck I drove before I got Belinda. Bernice didn’t actually get damaged, well…not much, anyway, either by my driving or my nightmares. Bernice went the way of all good trucks and is now resting peacefully in the truck yard of all nice, useful, over-the-hill trucks. May I never go there myself.