Thursday, July 28, 2011

Well, At Least I Know the Brakes Work . . .

While the recent increase in productivity at the Peterbilt plant next to my office is doubtless good for the economy, it's not so great for the traffic around the area.

As I was heading to lunch today, I noticed a semi truck that had started to exit the plant, only to stop barely out of the gate so that the driver could do . . . something.  Not quite sure what.  But whatever it was required him to get out of the cab of the truck.  As I was getting close to the entrance, he was climbing back into the cab, closing the door, staring the engine -- and pulling right out into the road without ever bothering to glance my way. It was at this point that my car's brakes got quite a work-out, and I skidded to a stop a couple of feet away from the side of his cab.

I was, of course, a bit perturbed.  I mean, yes, I have come to expect that most cars and trucks exiting Peterbilt are in a constant state of denial that anything exists down the road past their entrance, and so am usually pretty cautious as I drive past if i see someone at the gate.  But, silly me, I assumed that because this man was actually standing outside of his truck as I was driving up he might have noticed me.

Guess I know better now.

At some point during my skid, the driver had realized I was there and had stopped the truck; as he glanced through his window at the air turning blue around me, he hastily began to gesture at me, trying to convey . . . something.  I'm afraid I'm not well versed on Careless Truck Driver Sign Language.  Anyway, he backed up enough that I could drive past, and as I pulled onto the main road, something dawned on me:  this was the third semi in as many days to leave me with an incredibly negative impression -- although this was the first to move from " taking up both lanes roadhogging" to "tire-skidding danger" -- and not a single one of them had a "How's My Driving?" sticker on their back.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Terms of Not-So-Much-Endearment

Recently I've realized that I have a standard set of epithets I use for my best friends when they provoke me* into insulting them; and while a few of the epithets might get spread around, I tend to group specific terms with specific people.  For example, Flunky is, of course, "jackass";  Cap'n Shack-Fu generally elicits a "punk," occasionally upgraded to "Punky Brewster"; The Lovable PigPen is usually "ginger bastage," although I'll sometimes throw a "soulless" in there if he's been particularly PigPen-ish; and TopGun is lucky enough to get three levels: "jerk", followed by "jerk-face", and, last but not least, the compound epithet reflected in the following text message exchange** from last week which is the actual impetus for this post:

Me:  Can now go home and goof off. . .or maybe work out. . .nah, definitely goof off.
Him:  Aren't your workouts generally the same as goofing off? BURN!
Me:  Dear jerk-faced doo-doo head:  Why are you such a jerk-faced doo-doo head?  Sincerely, a non-jerk-faced, non-doo-doo dead.
Him:  Dear non-jerk-faced doo-doo head . . . as I am a jerk-faced doo-doo head . . . it is difficult for me to examine the reasons why I am this way.  Can a tiger tell us why they have stripes . . .or the great white tell us why they like to eat surfers . . .no. they cannot . . . and so, neither can I. It is just my nature . . .sincerely, jerk-faced doo-doo head
Me:  . . .I'll say this . . . you sure are an eloquent jerk-faced doo-doo head.

As for Li'l Random, he doesn't get a special nickname for those provoking moments; instead, I just call him "Li'l Brother" like always, except I load my voice with gallons of disappointment -- surprisingly effective.

*Yes, it's all their fault, I'm totally innocent, I swear.
**For the record, all ellipses in the quoted text are actual ellipses from our messages, and not signs of me editing things out.