Friday, July 10, 2015

"Urine Some Trouble, Mister"

Diesel fuel isn't cheap and I'm kinda miserly when it comes to wasting it. As a result, I tend to sleep with my windows half down and my bunk door open. Then, if it's summertime, I'll turn on a fan to circulate the air. When I've got my dogs with me I idle occasionally because they don't do well in 100+ degree temps. The poor things wear fur coats. 
Now that I have an air conditioner I'm getting a little spoiled. I'll be honest. But I still idle as little as possible to save that previous fuel. Two dogs and a sweaty truck driver; it can get a little "not so fresh" smelling at times. So having the windows down, door open and a fan helps air it out a bit. Nothing like that fresh air circulating, right? Except the air isn't always so fresh. Especially at truck stops. Nothing like the smell of stale urine and diesel fumes. The diesel I can live with. It's almost an aphrodisiac after a few years. The urine smell? Not so sexy. 

I do this job too, I get that sometimes time isn't our friend. Just about every trucker out there has a Gatorade bottle or whatnot that they've had to use as a port-o-potty. It's not glamorous but it's better than wearing Depends. 
What I don't get, though, is the need to get out of your truck and pee on the ground. You're not camping. There's a truck stop a few hundred feet away. Do we have to act like we are complete animals? 

I was taking my kids to Walmart one day and there was a truck with trailer parked in a part of the lot where people tend to set up RVs. Yeah, they set up RVs there. What, like you're on vacation at the Walmart parking lot?! Of all the places to have your mail forwarded. "Load up, Ma, we're goin on vacation to tha Walmart again!"
Anyway, there's this truck there. I see the guy get out, go between his truck and trailer and start taking a leak. We call it "kicking the water out of our tires". Dude, you're at Walmart. Go inside. Act human ish. 

Last week I carried my girlfriend's shower bag out of the truck stop. She's pretty and very petite but she's tough so I had to arm wrestle her to win the right to carry her bag. It was a close battle but I finally won. (We had to go 2 out of 3). She's also very tidy and clean. Which is a good thing. Especially if you're disorganized like I am. And absent-minded. How absent minded? Well, I carry her bag up to where we are parked next to each other then set her bag on the ground. Boy, you should've seen the horror in her eyes. Followed by some arm flailing and woeful sounding stuttering of "wh-wh-what ha-ha-have you DONE???" She may have considered burning it and its contents and starting over. I simply wasn't thinking; no one sets anything on the ground at a truck stop. Why? Because it makes a landfill look sanitary. Even I looked at my offending hand in horror. "Oh no! Did I seriously just do that?!" 
I say she's "tidy and clean" but what I really mean is that Mr Clean asks HER if something is clean enough. She's a bit obsessive compulsive about clean and that bag is meant to never touch the ground ANYWHERE. She puts it on her bed (which, as far as I'm aware, is even made when she's sleeping) and I had just completely desecrated it. 

You ever notice that when a truck stop closes down nobody buys that location and opens up shop? I'm guessing it's because it takes longer for that ground to not be considered a biohazard than Chernobyl. Lord knows it probably takes 50 years for the stink to go away. 
Sometimes I wonder why people look at me like I'm the drudge of society after learning I'm a truck driver. Then I get on the road and see how we act collectively and sigh in disgust. Bags of trash just left in the parking lot like we've got curbside service and stuff. It'd be nice if it were like at the Four Seasons and they just picked up our room service trays outside. But this is no fancy hotel. It's a truck stop. Or a Walmart. Or a rest area. 

An empty truck stop parking lot kinda looks like the fairgrounds after you "normals" have finished with it on Fourth of July weekend. All post apocalyptic and shit. 
Everyone's all "Oooohhh ohhh oh, save the planet" and junk but then it looks like a paper bag and plastic bottle factory blew up after everyone goes home.