Strange Things & Filthy Lies Sanitized – July 2020

Strange exemption requests sprinkled with filthy hours-of-services lies

July 2020

Wendy Parker

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As folks ease back out into the world, it’s become abundantly clear the pandemic has changed everything as we know it, including exemption requests to the FMCSA.

Sparked by the recent realization of the general public that trucking is indeed necessary to quite literally save their asses in hauling toilet paper to grocery stores, the U.S. DOT has been bestowed powers to relieve trucking companies of burdensome regulations that might impede their ability to haul super cheap freight for the masses.

Wait. No.

I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to go, even though reality and the load boards say different.

Anyway, emboldened by promises of a virtually lawless future on the highways, unfortunate exemption requests are being submitted by the hundreds. Or at least by the tens.

Take for example the recent soliloquy of sadness poor ol’Squeal McSneezelet had his sister Brenda-Karen whip up on her word processor for him to mail into the FMCSA to request exemption from all rules in general.

Squeal, who hauls groceries with his purple Volvo, reported being poked in the eye by a stick that flew through his window and lodged in his left orbital socket while he was attempting to beat his HOS clock and find parking in the swamps of Louisiana.

Temporary monocular vision, coupled with chronic seasonal allergies, have rendered Mr. McSneezelet a one-eyed, air-horned, crying purple-people-feeder who feels he should be issued a long-standing and possibly permanent exemption of the hours of service, so he may continue to safely haul groceries without any supervision whatsoever because that’s what freedom is about.

At least that’s what Brenda-Karen thinks.

Of course, there are unsubstantiated rumors from less-than-credible sources who once said in a Facebook fight with Brenda-Karen that she is a robot and actually setting the stage for complete and utter destruction of the human race.

Which brings us to the next unfortunate exemption request from Pronto.ai, an autonomous trucking outfit from San Francisco that asserts the artificial intelligence co-pilot system they are developing is safe enough to allow for HOS exemptions to the tune of adding a possible 14 hours to the already lengthy 70-hour driver work week.

Pronto assures the general public of their ability to successfully and safely enslave human commercial drivers for as much additional time as they can possibly get away with by installing automatic emergency brakes, adaptive cruise control, driver-facing cameras, and lane departure warning systems on all of their trucks.

They fail to mention these “safety” features are already functional in most new passenger vehicles, and yet inattentive driving by the operator of the passenger vehicle, also known as “the general public,” causes roughly 80% of truck/car crashes.

Think about that while you decide what part of this is a filthy lie.

Time’s up.

We’re on to bigger and better things, like the new-and-improved pandemic versions of counter-of-knowledge lore and recitation.

Bingo the banana-hauler says he couldn’t renew this TWIC card because he’d washed his fingerprints off with Clorox wipes that were disguised as Handinaps and handed out at rest areas by the U.S. DOT in a diabolical scheme to relieve port congestion.

He was one-upped by Katy the carcass hauler, who states with conviction that she is absolutely certain about half the “frozen parts and pieces” she hauls to cat food factories are a mixture of mob hits and deceased lizard people from the center of Mount Rainier.

This, of course, explains why skeletal remains of the Lizard Legion have never been found to this day, but they’re out there. Or Katy is. Who the heck knows anymore? There have been recent days in which I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to look out the window to see a pterodactyl flying by.

And instead of wondering, “What in the 21st century hell is a pterodactyl doing flying around Ohio?” I would think, “I wonder if that thing eats Jimmy-Hoffa-lizard-people-flavored cat food?”

The one thing we can count on these days is that we can’t really count on anything to be what we considered “normal” this time last year. The most we’re going to get out of rhyme and reason for the next few months is something along the lines of “because ducks wear purple hats” and we’re going to learn to be OK with ducks wearing purple hats because that’s what humans do. They adapt.

I will, however, draw the line at adapting to pterodactyls. I don’t think we should have to adapt to pterodactyls. Let’s don’t and say we did in the history books, just to keep things exciting for future generations. Or at least a bit of good fodder for the counter-of-knowledge next week.

Join us next time on STFL when we discuss the necessity of necessary workers who have habitual habits that result in profitable profits for gigantic giants of industry as well as small-batch small business. Until then, STFL service status is 10-10. 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.