Monday, August 31, 2009

Plenty Of Places To Roam, No Place To Park It

Trucking has many advantages; money, travel, beautiful women. Oh wait, those are the rock stars.

We do have the advantages of making great money and exploring places all over the country, and sometimes you do get to travel with a beautiful person, and we even see rock stars up close because they stop at the same truckstops we do to get fuel and load up on snacks.

Those are just a few pros of trucking, but with one of those advantages, the travel one, comes a huge con.


As you might imagine, it's not an easy task to park a seventy-three foot vehicle. I say with pride that Ed could back into a thimble if he had to, and can get this truck into spots one would never imagine because he's that talented. You know...if you build it, they will come and all that...if there's a spot, Ed can park in it. The problem is finding that spot.

We have a few favorites that usually work all over the country; Home Depot is a good example. Because we're a flatbed we look like we belong, for all they know we could be delivering there, so we often don't have any trouble. If we're empty and plan to be there for a few days, I usually go in and speak to the manager. They always seem to react favorably. I like to think it's because I'm cute, but then again...maybe not. I usually start with saying something like, "I drive an 18-wheeler and I was wondering if it would be okay if we park in your lot..." which is where they interrupt and say, "You drive an 18-wheeler?" We chat a while about life on the road and a laugh, giggle and head-tilt later, I have a parking spot.

Strip malls are hard as they have limited space, but again, Eddie will find the one teeny corner that's not occupied and squeeze us into it. Target, Best Buy, movie theaters...they are usually petty easy to navigate since they have big parking lots, and grocery stores are always a good place since they obviously have to get the big trucks in there for food deliveries.

And WalMart. As everyone knows, they are all over this country; not so much in the downtown city areas, but definitely all around them and small towns have them by the boatload. It's easy to shop there because as is their evil plan, you can get everything from motor oil to Tampax in one place. And who better to sell cheap Chinese crap to than people who don't want to schlep all over town to get everything on their shopping list? Especially if you're in an 18-wheeler. Some of them make it challenging with height barriers at every entrance which don't allow a truck over thirteen feet to get through, but we sneak around the back or the side, usually parking near the automotive department. And there's always a truck entrance; someone has to deliver their goods.

Other places we like are big mall parking lots but they often have rent-a-cops that will hunt you down and kill you if they see you there. If there are no signs prohibiting trucks, we will risk it. The upscale malls are the hardest because they have lots of security and they always seem to have elaborate landscaping that make it hard to get in; strategically placed boulders, flower beds and trees. That's where Ed comes in. I don't think I've ever seen him tear up a flower bed and I've certainly never seen him hit a rock, so if we can park and get into the mall without being seen, it's possible to be home free. Staying the night is another story though. Not surprisingly, they become very un-friendly to the 'ol trucking community. I guess they don't remember that trucks bring the
Good Stuff.

Oh, they'll let this 40 year old
piece of crap park anywhere, but our fancy, shiny new rig? No way. Because you know how those truckers are, leaving pee bottles and trash everywhere. And let's not forget the hookers that follow them around like groupies. Puhleeeze. I think you can take one look at our truck and be pretty sure we're not going to be chucking pee bottles out our window or requiring the services of a lot lizard.

It's frustrating for sure, especially when we do want to go to a mall or Barnes & Noble. We spend plenty of money in these places. We support these businesses all over the country. We bring them the goods they sell. And I honestly wish they'd just cut us a little slack. Unfortunately, the old adage about one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch rings true in trucking too, I guess.

I write this as I sit in a Home Depot parking lot, a place I've been for four days. Haven't heard a peep from anyone at this "RV Park".
They even let us fill the truck with water from their garden department. Since they've been so nice, I'll make sure not to chuck our pee bottles out the window, but that stream of soapy water that's trickling from the bottom of my truck?

That'd be me, washing the trucker stank off my body.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Popping Good Time
E Vac You A She Own!!
Eddie Steals A Bite Friday


Gil said...

Sounds like you are giving away plenty of trade secrets!

Angela said...

Ok wait a minute. You saw Green Day and didn't give a hoot? I've not yet been lucky enough to see any confirmed celebs out here on the road.

Although, I suspect that I saw one in VA beach a while back but still not sure if it was who I thought it was. If it was, I missed a great opportunity to chat and enjoy his company for a bit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah we have run across Green Day posing as the Foxboro Hot Tubs in Little Rock, but their million dollar Prevost buses gave them away. I met Nickleback at a toll road travel plaza in Ohio. There have been quite a few more run ins in the last ten years or so. It seems as if they stop at 2 am shortly after a concert on their way to their next gig. We have never planned to meet them, it was always only by coincidence.