The strangest and filthiest of 2019

December 2019/January 2020

Wendy Parker


The road can be a wild and wonderful place. It’s like the internet come true, only with fewer cats and more “nekkid as hell” characters, most of which have no business being publicly nekkid as hell. Today’s crazy world may have satire taking a last, gasping breath, but there remain notable and mentionable strange things. Of course, you can’t serve up an order of strange things without at least fair warning of the possibility of filthy lies.
For legal purposes, and all.

Well, would you look at this?

Here we are at the end of another year and soon starting a new one.

Who else here thought for sure we’d all be living on Mars with robot maids and flying cars if we lived this long? I mean, it’s fixin’ to be 2020, y’all. Those of us expecting to be the Jetsons by now survived disco, partying like it’s 1999, the end of the Mayan calendar, and one version or another of the “Baby Shark” song. We’re practically indestructible. And guess what?

We were a lot smarter when we didn’t know so much.

Don’t get me wrong. The interwebs and mass communication have both been beneficial to mankind, but both have also interjected things into our lives we could have done without.

I can almost promise you Lenny McGravel from Possum Void Parish, La., would probably never consider suing a national airline for the right to take his service-serpent onboard a public flight without seeing clips about Peacock Lady on the YouTubes.

Remember Peacock Lady from the July 2019 edition? She wanted to take her full-grown nightmare of an emotional support animal on an airplane. I don’t mean she wanted to bring it in a cage. I mean she bought her emotional support peacock a seat of its own and wanted everyone around her to be OK sharing personal space with a certified dinosaur, unfettered in any way other than the standard lap belt.

Y’all ever seen a full-grown peacock? Better yet, you ever hear one tear loose with a scream? I’m not sure what kind of emotions that bird supports for her, but I’d bet they’re ghastly. If I had to ride a whole airplane ride strapped in with a peacock on one side and certain death below me, I’d probably need an emotional support Xanax or two when they peeled me off the ceiling of the cockpit.

I’d choose better living through chemistry, and Lenny McGravel chooses a service-serpent. Both are considered advances in modern day civility.

How weird is that?

About as weird as pooping in a box to find out if you have cancer.

We might not have flying cars, but we do have traveling poop, and believe it or not this is also a huge leap in the advancement of healthcare and our seemingly fragile species. This is old news to STFL followers. We discussed the perils of placarding poop correctly way back in June.

(That may be a laughing matter, but your health isn’t. If you’re due for a PM on your colorectal system, get it done.)

And really, who needs to live on Mars when we have truck stops to remind us of constant interplanetary visitation?

I firmly asserted long before May 2019 STFL that the trucking industry is rife with visitors, dude. Who among us has become so used to the Wailing Jean stories of kidney-necked sisters who need immediate medical attention from a $20 bill that they wouldn’t bat an eye if a slightly greenish bald dude with big buggy eyes was standing behind them in line at the PFJ, waiting patiently to purchase a chrome ball-sack for their spaceship?

Google it, Becky.

If strange and unusual is your realm, the truck stop is a mecca and perfect hiding place. Just don’t lick the sinks unless you want to end up outside with Wailing Jean screaming about spiders in your hair.

On to the filthiest lies of 2019

The robots are coming to take your jobs next week. They’ll solve the driver shortage problem and safety will become so incredible it will be legendary. I also have it on super-top-secret and totally imaginary authority that rats are being trained to take over all the jobs the robots can’t do.

Also, if you believe any of this caca, I have an interplanetary time-share on the serene and somewhat windy beaches of Mars I’d like to offer you.

Jot this down: The infrastructure robot-trucks will need to operate beyond rudimentary routes doesn’t exist and likely will never exist in our lifetime. We’re so far up poop creek in even maintaining the existing roads and bridges that it would take an act of voodoo (or the gubmint) to get things right in the next 25 years. (My money is on voodoo, because the gubmint got us here in the first place.)

Here’s something else to put in the ol’ mental Rolodex to whip out when you’re writing those letters to your representatives and making comments on the FMCSA website. (Notice how I didn’t use the word “if” here and strongly suggest action on your part by using “when” instead. Thanks. Back to our regularly scheduled message.)

There is no driver shortage. There is a driver training and retention issue, but there is no shortage. We don’t need robots or rats to fill the seats. That’s not saying we never will, but at this point in time, Strange Things and Filthy Lies stardate 2020, it is not a pressing issue.

We’ll wrap up with something rarely mentioned in this particular venue.

The sterling truth

We’re making strides in this grassroots movement. We have been for damn near 50 years now. Sometimes, things seem bleak and you might want to pout about not having a flying car, but remember, every tiny victory is a victory nonetheless.

Keep fighting the good fight. STFL, over and out. LL