Pointers for when the forecast calls for tornadoes and a chance of tumbleweeds

March-April 2020

Wendy Parker

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Seasoned drivers know spring trucking conditions are often more dangerous than winter. Springtime not only brings mating season for each and every animal species with a preference to search out their companions in the middle of the road, but the weather is often unpredictable.

For obvious reasons, tractor-trailers and tornadoes don’t mix well. Safety engineers continue to labor in top secret labs over a solution. It continues to elude them.

Theories point to unlocking the mystery of how a 3-year-old child can make themselves virtually immobile when pitching a fit on the floor of the grocery store. This shocking display of gravitational sorcery is clearly increased by the volume of their screams, but the correlation to their ability of being able to make 35 pounds of screaming child suddenly weigh 450 pounds is still a question for scientific exploration.

Secondary hypotheses include determining how to recreate the ability of an angry house cat to engage claws that are only half-of-an-inch long a full 3 inches deep into flesh, furniture and anything worth more than $20 you might own and cherish. The physics for this phenomenon are seemingly impossible. Also, there are no more lab assistants left willing to wrangle and wrestle angry house cats for science, so this project is still in its infancy.

The best science can do to keep truckers safe in tornadoes is predict the weather soon enough to alert them in time to park the truck and find something lower than the surface of the highway to hole up in. This is extremely fortunate if you happen to be traveling in Oklahoma on U.S. Highway 69, because you can park the truck inside a pothole and ride the storm out.

In recent and strange events, tumbleweeds now have evolved to grow large enough to take over and shut down an entire highway.

Tumbleweed, or prickly Russian thistle, is an invasive species brought into the United States by early Russian immigrants as pets for their children. The round, fuzzy appearance coupled with the docile weed’s sparse need of water appealed to families traveling in covered wagons from the frigid northern climes of Western Canada.

Historical accounts of trained tumbleweeds following pioneer wagon trains for thousands of miles are retold by almost nobody around campfires to this very day.

Much like the Burmese python epidemic in Florida, irresponsible tumbleweed owners turning their pets out into the wilderness without spaying or neutering them created havoc within habitats that weren’t meant for their kind.

Great masses of the weed have finally discovered their power in herding together and have been reported to be known to even be as brazen as to kick puppies that happen to stray into their path.

Never fear, after-market truck part manufacturers are on the job. As reported only in the imaginations of pretty much every trucker who ever had to sit in a traffic jam, Acme After-Parts presents the cattle-catcher/flamethrower combo, “Barbecue Bumper.”  The weaponized safety guard will be available in early 2021.

Beta testing by Wyle E. Coyote has proven effective in clearing everything but a roadrunner from highways, tunnels and desert terrain in general.

More on the situation as it develops. In the meantime, head on a swivel and be safe out there.

Speaking of invasive species, this time in the filthy lies department we’re revisiting the unsafe nature of large professional trucking associations (cough, ATA, cough) continuing to assert there is a driver shortage.

According to imaginary reports from the newly designated U.S. Space Force, the Martians are mad.

Recent advances in teleportation technology on Mars have put the vast majority of professional Martian drivers out of work. Intergalactic trucking union representatives claim they were solicited by an earthbound trucking association they prefer to keep anonymous (cough, ATA, cough) to participate in a pilot program to help alleviate the driver shortage in the United States.

They came all this way thinking Earth had a driver shortage, only to find it isn’t true, and they’re pissed.

Space Force agents who do not yet exist were called in to investigate three different incidents involving ray guns and the flagrant use of expletives by visiting aliens attempting to negotiate decent-paying rates and wages.

Homer McFetid, a local freight broker and shipper who wishes to remain anonymous, reported having his general person assaulted when he refused to budge on a maxed out 0.34/cpm load of horse dung.

“Them dang Martians pulled up in their fancy space truck wanting a whole dollar a mile,” Homer said. “I told ’em it were 34 cents a mile or nuthin. Now I don’t speak Martian, but I’m pretty dern sure they insulted my momma right before zapping me with that doggone zapper.”

McFetid goes on to describe the abuse after the Martians declined the load.

“I think one of ’em flipped me off on the way out of the parking lot. Can’t rightly say, as they only had two fingers and a pincher, but it sure looked like the bird to me.”

Stay tuned for no film at 11, and join us next time when STFL opens a wormhole to the past, present, and future. LL

 

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.