Northbound Camper

Last summer my granddaughter looked at me and said, “there goes one of those animal carriers Grandpa.”  She was referring to a bull hauler on the interstate.  Truckers will also refer to them as “bull wagons.”

Glancing out the window, I look at him and I wonder the same thing, what I always wonder about when I see a bull hauler … “How do they make a living running around empty all the time?”

She says to me, “What do they haul in those animal carriers Grandpa?” and I respond, “Oh, they haul pigs, cattle, sometimes sheep and stuff like that.”

Then she says, “Where do they haul them to?” and I tell her, in the most honest and straight forward method I know.  “To the slaughterhouse, where they kill them, and then they make bacon, steak, hamburger and other meat bi-products out of the butchered animals.”  As with most things, I did not sugar-coat it, just laid it out there for her.

She takes a mile or two to ingest this information and then says to me, “I don’t like those trucks Grandpa, they’re sad.”

Nothing like the wisdom of a child.

The guy ahead of me is running slow, I need to get over in order to pass, checking the mirror I see a big green Pete coming up, a bull hauler.  I flip on my turn signal, indicating my intention to come on out into what they refer to as the “smart aleck lane” and then I see the puff of black smoke come out of his stacks.

Smoke means acceleration and increased speed or dirty injectors, either way, it is not gonna be good for me.

He has put his foot in it, and is now rapidly closing the gap, effectively shutting down any intentions I had to pass this automobile in front of me slowing me down.  I curse under my breath, back out of the throttle, and wait on him to get by.

He pulls ahead a little ways, and then I hear the C.B. radio crackle and come to life.  This voice, sounding a lot like Texas Twang says “How about that northbound camper, you got it on?”  He is calling me now, wants to talk.  I don’t respond and then I notice he is backing out of it and slowing down.

Great.  Just what I need to make my day.  Passing this slow moving car is not going to happen any time soon I am afraid, not in this life anyway.  Almost the same as getting a quick meal at the Flyin J.

The truck slowly pulls alongside and I look over into his cab, and he is sitting there in his cowboy hat, with his C.B. mike in his hand, he holds it up and shows it to me.  And then again, “You got it on northbound camper?”  I say nothing, I do not respond, he puts his foot in it and he is gone.

Reaching down, I flip on my turn signal, mash the throttle to the floor and come on out to finally pass the car.

The wife she looks at me and then inquires, “Why didn’t you talk to him?”  I just shrug my shoulders and say to her, “Listen, if you don’t know the difference between a bus and a camper, then you really don’t have a lot to say.”

Like my granddaughter says, “they’re kind of sad.”