My Life As An Over-the-Road Trucker...
My name is Jordy Webber, absurdly named after some overpaid football player. For those of you that don’t know me, I happen to be old man Webber's dog. By now, you are wondering what the hair I would know about being an over-the-road trucker. Well, as it happens, I now possess trucking experience having made a trip this year from Kankakee to Phoenix, and back, as the co-driver in a big rig…mostly because old man Webber was too cheap to buy me a ticket on the plane.
I met my co-driver, Larry, at the Kankakee terminal. Seemed like a nice enough guy... for a human. As it is known I can’t hold my licker, you probably should know Larry tasted just fine. Fortunately for me, or possibly it was just because of my relation to Ms. Dawn, I found out I had been assigned to assist Larry, who is one of the most professional and reliable drivers in the entire Webber fleet. A two-time Driver of the Year recipient, the dude has been with the company for over 30 years.
I’m not real good on dates, but I do remember it being colder than a well-diggers ass that morning. I have no idea how cold that would be, but it was a term I picked up at the terminal. They all talk like sailors at the terminal. Even some of the men do too!
So, after formal introductions, a few cursory smells, and one lick, we made our way out to Larry’s new Peterbilt. Jeez, was that truck big, much larger than that Buick I normally ride in with Ms. Dawn, and it was so nice. I slipped on the battery box getting in and smacked my chin. Hurt like hell. You would have thought that big oaf, Todd, would have picked me up and set me in being it was my first time in a big rig. Once in, I got a good whiff of Larry’s seat, the passenger seat, and then laid down for a pant in Larry’s bunk. It was pretty nice back there. I began to wonder just how hard this job could possibly be.
That notion was quickly dispelled as the first day we drove all the way to Rolla MO before stopping. My teeth were floating by then. I was seriously considering marking a corner of the bunk about the time Larry finally stopped. On the way down, I had pretty much stayed in the passenger seat keeping an eyeball out for any animals running around where they weren’t supposed to be. I figured I needed to watch out for the little critters so that Larry didn’t run over them with our big rig. We settled down for a nice peaceful night at a truckstop in Rolla MO, where I developed a taste for McDonald’s fries. It was remarkably better than that dried fake beef Ms. Dawn has been slopping into my dog dish.
Early, the next morning I was snoozing on the floor of the passenger seat, dreaming of a T-bone smothered in fries, when Larry shook me awake to go outside for business. Hey, living with that old coot I’m not used to getting up early in the morning, so this was kind of a downer to start off my day. Afterwards, we drove to Oklahoma City where we stopped for a lunch break and a run. I don’t know why Larry insisted on running, but he beat me back to the truck by a long way. Oh, and I almost forgot, we got us some of those Mickey D’s fries. I think I’m hooked.
We stopped for the evening at Erick Oklahoma. Larry explained that it was good to stop in the late afternoon or early evening so that we can be assured of getting a parking spot. If you stay out driving too late, there isn’t enough parking available for these big rigs. While I was delighted that he explained this to me, I also had to wonder why the hell he was talking to a dog. Did he expect me to answer? I just gave him a reassuring look and that seemed to settle with him. That look works on the old man too. When I am not busy scratching or licking something, I can be a pretty cute pooch if I do say so myself.
During the night, I heard a knock on the door and I got up to look at what was going on. From my vantage point behind the curtain in the bunk I really couldn’t see much and was still sleepy, but the next thing I knew, Larry was yelling and waving his arms at this poor lady to get the heck away from the truck. I had not seen him so agitated before and it didn’t sound like that lady was too happy with uncle Larry either. He didn’t bother to explain that part of the driving experience or what she wanted so I have no more to relate to you. He seemed irritated, so I got back up in the bunk and slept at his feet that night.
If I thought we left Rolla early, I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet. Would you believe he got up even earlier the next day, must have been at least 2 hours at least? It was still dark for crying out loud. You try to take a whizz, outside in the cold and dark, and let me know how that works for ya. I climbed up in the passenger seat to resume my post watching out for critters, but with the headlights peeking out from that long nose of the cab, it wasn’t too easy to see or have anything to bark about. It was then that I decided to go back to bed and just climbed back into Larry’s warm bunk and rest on his pillow. I thought I saw Larry give me a dirty look but he didn’t say anything.
We stopped for breakfast at a truck stop and attend to some personal business a little later on in Clovis NM. I was miffed that Larry wouldn’t buy me fries for breakfast either. I had to eat that damn crunchy dogfood again. I hate that stuff. Had I been able to talk I might have asked ‘ol Lar to get me some bacon. This mutt loves his bacon. Bacon and fries sounds like a mighty good meal to me. Humans are so lucky that they get to eat all the good stuff and then feed us that crappy dogfood. Believe me, it tastes nothing like you seen those mongrels eat in those television commercials. The way they attack that food I figure there has to be a juicy steak under all that crunchy crap.
When we got back in the truck I jumped up on the dashboard, for no apparent reason. I do things for no apparent reason sometimes…just can’t help myself. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time, and you know what? It was nice and warm up there so I settled in for a while. It was easier to watch for critters too. Later on, when it started to get too warm, I jumped back in the passenger seat where I watched uncle Larry drive for a while. Looks pretty easy if you ask me. He just sits there on his big ‘ol butt and holds on to the steering wheel. Heck, he even put the truck on cruise control so he could move his legs around. Every once in a while, he would pass a vehicle, but mostly vehicles passed us. Not sure why he let them pass us so much because when Ms. Dawn and I are driving the Buick that never happens.
We drove all the way across New Mexico. It’s one big desert with a few hills and a mountain or two way off. We finally stopped at Deming for the evening. I was kind of surprised we stopped that early in the afternoon, but I figured uncle Larry knew what he was doing. I ran around for a while, marking my territory on just about anything growing out back of the truck stop. Afterwards, we went in and watched TV for some time before Larry decided it was time to go back to the truck.
Larry had set my pen on the floor next to the bunk. I guess he didn’t like me taking over his bed all the time, so I slept in there for the evening. I think he was sweet-talking some gal on the phone too – he was grinning from ear to ear and laughing a lot. I don’t mind the pen, but it isn’t as nice as Larry’s bunk. At least he didn’t zip it up the way Ms. Dawn always does. Larry is cool that way.
There I was, sleeping away in my tent, when in the middle of the night I heard Larry rustling around again. I hadn’t heard another knock on the door and wondered what he was up to. Next thing I know, he started up the truck and we were off, in the middle of the damn night. What the hell! I didn’t even get a chance to go back out and check my markings. I couldn’t let him work by himself, so I climbed back up into the passenger seat for sentry duty. Well, it was dark, the road seemed to go on forever, and the truck was kind of warm, and well… you can probably figure out the ensuing result. Next thing I knew we were in Arizona where I was supposed to meet the big guy himself. By just about daybreak we pulled into what I heard Larry telling somebody on the phone that he was at the plumbing customer and waiting for Alan to arrive. I wondered about his use of the singular “he” and not the plural “we.” What am I, chopped liver? I too, had been driving for over 3 days, just like Larry.
We weren’t there very long when the old man himself showed up to get me. That old coot's beard was as white as mine, only longer. Looked like he gained more weight too, if that was possible. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye or lick on Larry, the old fart just threw me in this car and away we went. I hope I get to a chance to see Larry again someday, he was a really nice guy.
The return trip back from Phoenix with Christopher was mostly uneventful other than we traveled a lot further. Instead of going directly back to Kankakee, “we headed over to old El Paso TX, where we got into a great big hassle.” (Sorry, I listen to so much of that there hippy music with the old man I just couldn’t resist a chance to share a line from the Steve Miller song, “Take the Money and Run.”) There was no hassle. Anyway, I got to see the El Paso terminal. Man, that was big and there were trucks everywhere. I stayed mostly in Moe’s office, as I understand that Christopher had to go home to take care of a few items. Don’t tell Moe, but when he stepped out for a minute I did mark the chair in his office. Sorry, dude. Everybody treated me pretty good there, although nobody offered any fries. I could have sworn I smelled fries on Moe’s breath after lunch too.
I looked around for Larry and his truck, since he lives in El Paso, but there was no sign of either. Later that afternoon, Christopher came back and we took off, but we went southeast to Eagle Pass TX instead of northeast towards Kankakee. Evidently, we had to pick up freight there, something that was unknown to both me and the old man. But Chris got the job done and we were off, headed north to Kankakee in no time, except that all this extra mileage added another day to the trip.
Oh, then there was that little incident in Arkansas on the way back that I guess I should tell ya.
Chris stopped at a truckstop and, in my humble opinion, rudely left me in the truck. Well, I had seen another dog go in and wanted to check her out. But no, Chris just shut the door in my face. Reminded me of what the old man does from time to time. Truck was running, so I was staying warm, and there was music on, but it’s just that I had a hankerin’ to get out and stretch my legs. So, while he was in there I was watching out the window and sure enough, here she came back out. She was an absolutely gorgeous black Cocker Spaniel with the cutest little turned up nose. You just don’t see them running around in Bourbonnais Illinois. But she and her human climbed into an ugly old Freightliner and left. Didn’t even look my way and here I was, sporting this beautiful Peterbilt, and sitting in the drivers’ seat. She should have been impressed, as hell I was! I thought that was kind of rude for them to ignore me like that, and well, I guess I got a little rambunctious with my running around the cab and barking about it. Seems like I might have accidentally stepped on the door lock. It took Chris and some other human about two hours of messing with the window to finally get back in. I don’t think Chris was too happy with me for the rest of the day. Other than some angry phone calls, the trip was pretty quiet the rest of the way.
Anyway, that was my trip to Phoenix and back. I can’t wait to go back to Arizona, but next time I’m flying with Dawn! I got all the big rig driving experience I want for this lifetime.