Saturday, May 23, 2015

"A Night In The Sun"

Last night I thought I had some pretty major problems about to go down. Considering my recent post about the Illuminati I'm sure you'll understand shortly. 

See, I was driving down the highway when I was suddenly accosted by this incredibly bright light. It looked like a UFO was landing on the highway. Which, admittedly, was my first thought. I was a little excited about that. "Yay, they've finally found intelligent life on earth maybe!" I was immediately curious WHERE?! A cow pasture maybe? Yeah, we eat cattle but I'm still not certain they aren't smarter than some of the people I've seen on the highways. 
None of the lights were flashing or moving so I began dismissing that theory. Plus, it was already at ground level and on the highway. So I began thinking it was maybe a helicopter that had landed on the roadway. NSA maybe? Would it have a Papal crest on it? Had the Illuminati come to set me straight?! "If they kidnap me will they feed me pizza? I like pizza."

As it turned out, it was neither. What was it, you ask? It was someone with more money than sense. At least, that's the only excuse I can think of. Or some blind guy trying to drive. I haven't ruled that out yet. ("The Stevie Wonder School of Driving" sounds kinda scary). He certainly had enough light to do it. It was like an offshore oil rig had ended up on the highway. 
I think my "more money than sense" theory is the most sound though. Considering it was basically an extremely overlit life-sized Hotwheels truck I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was a guy. I mean, let's face it, we guys are a lot more goofy about our trucks than girls are. When someone talks about "redneck trucks" the image that comes to mind is usually that of a guy and his truck, not a girl out "muddin'". I'm a guy and live in the South but I don't have a big, lifted 4x4 yet so there's a chance they'll take my "man card" soon. 

I am a truck driver though so I still get into lights. It's in the truck driver code, "put shiny stuff and lights on your truck if possible." Hell, all my appliances are stainless steel so I can pretend they're chrome. When I was married I think my wife was scared I was going to put lights on the fridge and dishwasher. I'm still considering it. Or maybe an airhorn. That'd scare the hell out of the kids in the middle of the night. "Daddy I went to get some water and I peed on the floor. I'm sorry". Hmm. Maybe not such a great idea. 
As a truck driver I'm subject to very high fines if I'm found with a cell phone in my hand. The Department of Transportation is big on making sure we aren't distracted. Which strikes me as odd since the government doesn't seem to have a problem with brightly lit billboards along the highway. There's a stretch of I-10 near Biloxi, Mississippi that looks like the Vegas Strip there are so many of those things. Don't get distracted?! Pfft...those things can be seen from space! Just like this Hotwheels car. Why do we need extremely bright LED light strips on the grill and hood now?! And it's super bright white lights at that. 
This guy had "fog" lights, (fog lights are supposed to be yellow, not white. Oh, and shouldn't you only need them when it's foggy?), headlights, his brights were on, he had an LED strip of white lights in the middle of his grill and on the little bump in his hood. Like what, he thought he had a hood scoop? Seriously, it was like staring at the sun. Maybe he thought he was running the Ice Road in Alaska and wanted to see a moose from 2 miles out. Either way, he was definitely a distraction. In fact, with that much light he was a road hazard. 

If you need that much light, folks, maybe you should stick to driving during the day. Light is good but blinding oncoming traffic is not necessary. Yeah, I know people think it's cool now but signaling spacecraft with your car doesn't make you cool. It makes you look like a blind idiot. 

But we truck drivers put lights on our trucks, right? Doesn't that make me a hypocrite? No, not really. For one, they are amber for the ones viewed from the front and side and red for the ones viewed from the back. Although there are some trucks that have those white "fog" lights and run those all the time too. I hate those things. How is it everyone else is running through fog 24/7 but I rarely ever see it? Is fog avoiding me? That's not nice. 
Back to the amber and red lights though. Why is it ok for us to have those? For your protection. I've got a lot of lights on my truck so you can see me. Granted, an 80 foot long vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds isn't exactly "inconspicuous" but I'm fairly certain most motorists can't see us unless we are in their way. So we need lots of lights to show you our seemingly invisible trucks. 

Although, I have discovered that my turn signals don't work exactly as intended. I check them every day and they look normal but, when I'm driving and turn them on, one of two things invariably happens. 
Either they send out a signal for cars to speed up and keep me from changing lanes or they turn my truck invisible. 
I can drive for well over a mile with my turn signals on (I have 2 visible from the back, 3 visible from the side on each side) and cars seem oblivious to my need to change lanes. Or possibly to my presence until I actually start changing lanes. That's when we get that disgusted look for being on your highway and in your way. They jerk the wheel to dive into one of the empty lanes they could've gotten into earlier, get up next to me and glare. Until we make eye contact. Then they look scared and scurry off. Maybe I should shave. Or quit wearing a Jason mask while driving, but where's the fun in that?

Do you think maybe these people just need attention? They weren't loved enough as kids? I sure don't love them when they're driving toward me, that's for sure. I'm also not fond of the people who seem to have their lights stuck on the bright setting 24 hours a day. I'm curious where they got them though. My lights periodically burn out and have to be replaced but these guys have lights that last forever. Are they marketed as "the last set of headlight bulbs you'll ever buy"? I'd save some money that way. I wonder if they're on eBay. 
Do us a favor, guys. Go look at your lights. If you've got enough on your car that interstellar visitors might have your house tagged as a "possible star system" please don't turn them ALL on when you're driving. Again, I have an 80,000 pound vehicle, do you really want me to get retinal scarring when I'm coming at you head-on? My "car" is bigger than your car. Ever hear of Custer? It won't end well. Do us all a favor, be sensible.