‘Recalibrating route. Stand by indefinitely.’

February 2020

Wendy Parker


“Keep movin’, movin’, movin’
“Though they’re disapprovin’
“Keep them doggies movin’, rawhide”

When you spend most of your life moving, it’s nice to appreciate the brief moments you’re able to sit somewhere outside of the truck and be stationary. Nothing quantifies this more than the inability to find an empty stall in a truck stop bathroom, where drivers spend their brief moments multitasking by scrolling social media and completing movements of another sort altogether.

Data compiled by those who have apparently dedicated their scientific career to timing poop breaks have found that people spend 25% more time than “necessary” in the bathroom during work hours. These egghead evaluators of human waste trajectory and speed have gone as far as putting a dollar amount on bathroom breaks with estimates of lost productivity time equating to billions of dollars.

According to the OSHA educational website, “Because restroom access frequency can vary greatly from person to person, no federal standard for the permitted number of restroom breaks or a specific restroom usage schedule exists.”

So legally, employers can’t kick you out of the bathroom. But they can make the toilets on a slant, so you have to develop quads of steel to maintain the perch-factor or give up and leave the sanctity of a quiet stall as quickly as possible.

That’s right, folks. Someone found a way to screw up an extended poop-break by designing a “downward facing toilet.”

The new design has an insidious 13% downward slope that isn’t visible to the untrained eye. However, the untrained musculature of a human body that isn’t used to a toilet designed to dump you on the floor will begin screaming almost immediately.

Designers of the slanted throne maintain this isn’t just an evil way to cause severe head injuries when your legs give out and you inadvertently slither out of the stall feet first and pantsless.

Of course not.

The developers assert this torture device has distinct health benefits. Most notably, the design is purported to help in reduction of risk in swollen hemorrhoids. If this were actually true for the trucking industry, a slanted toilet would consume lawmakers who think they know something about the transportation industry, along with 90% of the FMCSA green book.

Now that’s a reduction of swollen hemorrhoids I can get behind. Pun totally intended.


In other movement news, magnetic north is doing a hoochie coochie dance that rivals free-flowing traffic on the Jersey Turnpike. It matters because magnetic north is used to calibrate things like Google Maps and other sensitive GPS systems.

This isn’t new news, we’ve known the pole wanders a bit since its discovery in 1831. What might be news to some is that if you dig a hole 1,800 miles straight down you will not come out in China, nor will you encounter a lost city of dinosaurs. (I know, I was disappointed, too.)

What you will find is molten metal that sloshes around like a load of bottled water as the earth spins, and that’s almost as cool as a lost dinosaur city. The effect of the swirling inner core of molten death keeps earth’s magnetic fields intact and also pins the poles somewhat into place.

According to the latest version of the World Magnetic Model, due north is migrating south at a rate of as much as 34 miles a year, which is faster than traffic flows in most urban areas of America during rush hour these days.

I have it on good authority there are families of wanderers who have never exited the 285 loop in Atlanta, because their GPS keeps re-calibrating.

It keeps re-calibrating because the doggone North Pole won’t sit still long enough for them to get out of Atlanta traffic on a Friday afternoon, so they just keep circling the city, never understanding that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, no matter what the Google-bot says.

It’s estimated by the year 2040 that compasses will actually point east of due north, which will undoubtedly cause problems on I-35 through Austin, Texas, by causing unsuspecting motorists to careen off onto one of the double-decker six-lane nightmares surrounding the seemingly straight shot through the city.

This is already a problem in St. Louis at the I-70/64/44/55 split. Rumor has it a great majority of travelers who stop to visit the Gateway Arch are actually just turning around in the parking lot because their GPS sent them off on the wrong thread of highway.

The good news is, Rand McNally still prints a paper road atlas annually. The bad news is, the motoring public doesn’t understand how insanely dangerous it is to be lost while unfolding and trying to read an atlas and meandering in and out of five lanes of traffic full of truckers who haven’t had a decent poop break because they slide off newfangled downward-facing toilets like an empty trailer on black ice.

Y’all just leave them toilets alone now, ya hear? You’re causing all kinds of problems you haven’t even thought about. How do you know folks aren’t sitting on the toilet trying to read a map? Ever think about that?

Mull it over and join us next time for breaking news about fragile freight. STFL, over and out. LL