I usually make a few hopeless attempts at flailing all 5' of myself up into the cab. Alas, my knight comes to the rescue, wrinkles his mustache and says, "the handles are right THERE..." pointing as if to say, "duh". Because let's face it, he was comfortably in his seat, firing up the beast, but all he's noticing is the leaping. He yells, "get your 3 points of contact!" Easy, big fella.
Mind you, I've ridden in oil trucks, concrete trucks, concrete pump trucks, and roll off trucks. He's driven them all. My fave? Oil truck. It has a train horn. Ladies...there is nothing more empowering than pushing that button. Nothing.
Aside from the glitz, there is real work at hand. I know this, because he spends upwards of 70-80hrs/wk completing it. To pass the time, he interacts with fellow drivers via CB radio. The following are items up for discussion as you unsuspectingly pass them by on your way to work...
If you ride very close to the left hand painted line as you travel in the 1st lane (for those of you not from PA, that's the right hand lane), truckers will accuse you of being afraid of the...Shoulder Monster. "ROOOOOOOOOOAR". Ya know, the sound the rumble strips make when you drift over onto them. They roar over the CB.
If you forget to turn off your turn signals, or neglect to use them, they will say to one another, "Hey! Ya got yer Which Ways on!" or "Hey! Don't fergit yer Which Ways. We might wanna know yer plan!"
If you tailgate them on the highway or turnpike, they tell stories of when they've lost recaps, and how the recaps have gone through car windshields, injuring or killing front seat occupants. They say, "I'd give a little more space if I were you, little feller." Duly noted.
Southern drivers are continually surprised by the Smart Car.
If you're in traffic on your laptop, cell phone, holding your coffee, eating a bagel, and checking yourself out in your mirror, they're making fun of you. They also make fun of the way in which you hold your coffee if you deviate from the usual manner in which one would hold a cup. Some hold it up high for all to see. I call that the Statue of Liberty. My husband has used that term out in the field to rave reviews. I have a special way I hold mine. I hold it for dear life!
If you cut them off, it scares them. Just because they have all those giant wheels doesn't mean they stop faster. It's actually the opposite.
So this is a public service announcement of sorts. Couple things to focus on:
- Stay in the center of your lane, because there's really no such thing as the Shoulder Monster.
- Heed your Which Ways.
- Keep a safe following distance. Those recaps are bad news.
- If you're driving a Smart, pass a trucker slowly. No matter how many times he sees one, he just can't get used to it.
- If you need to use your laptop/cell combo while eating breakfast, please wait 'til you get to work. I won't suggest the mirror thing. Come on, we have to look good as we ENTER work. That can only be assured by checking ahead of time.
- If you have to cut in front of one, don't.
- If you are proud of your coffee and wish to hold it high like the Statue of Liberty, go ahead. Just know they're laughing.
- And more seriously, know that behind the truck driver is a wife who prays for your safety and his...faithfully, each morning. 'Cause she's been on the other end of that phone call.