‘Not responsible for any of the crap that flies out of my truck’

big rig truck

I’m not sure what’s worse: seeing this thing in my rearview mirror, or having to follow it all the way to work as it showers gravel on my hood.

Every day for the past week, I’ve been stuck behind a truck on my way to work.

And we’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill, two-ton pickup, here. We’re talking about those gargantuan behemoths with skyscraper smokestacks and mud flaps the size of Wyoming. You know, the ones that are either hauling rocket fuel or towing seven trailers sloshing with gravel.

Whenever I see one in my rearview mirror — barreling upon me like some monstrous, unleashed demon — I get all frantic and panicky, like Dennis Weaver with a busted radiator hose.

There’s one in particular that’s always in a hurry to cut me off, just so it can chug uphill doing twenty-five in the fast lane. A mile-long convoy will build up behind us, creating what looks like a rush-hour funeral procession (or maybe the most unimaginative Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ever).

The truck’s always hauling gravel, too — most of which showers the roadway and patters on my windshield and hood. I think he starts out with a full load each morning and arrives at his destination with half a yard. (Which might explain his repeated trips.)

Nice truck, pal. I’ve seen sieves that make more reliable containers. 

Apparently, though, it’s not his fault, because he clearly has a sign affixed to his tailgate that reads: “Not responsible for loose gravel or broken windshields.”

Whoa, there. Say what? I didn’t know a little orange sign could absolve you of the responsibility to secure your load. (Of course, it’s hard to take the warning seriously, especially when it’s next to a bumper sticker that reads “How’s my driving? Call 1-800-EAT-SHIT.”)

I’m not sure if the sign is legally binding, but when your truck has a nut sack dangling from the rear bumper, I’m not one to argue.

So let’s get this straight: If a truck inundates the roadway with a layer of gravel, that’s fine.

But if I toss a beer bottle from my window, suddenly I’m a jerk?

I need to get me one of those signs. Except mine would say: “Not responsible for broken glass or erratic weaving.”

Can you imagine if an officer pulled you over?

OFFICER: Do you know why I stopped you?

DRIVER: (Belches.) No.

OFFICER: You appeared to be doing seventy-five in a school zone down the wrong side of the street. Plus, you tossed a beer bottle from your window. It shattered and gushed all over the roadway.

DRIVER: Damn. I must have tossed out a full one.

OFFICER: Do you have any idea how reckless you were driving?

DRIVER: Not really, sir. I’ve been drinking all night.

OFFICER: OK, that’s it. I’m taking you in.

DRIVER: You can’t.

OFFICER: I can’t?

DRIVER: Nope. Check out my rear bumper, sir. I have a sign that states I’m not liable for broken glass or dangerous driving.

OFFICER: You’re serious?

DRIVER: Go take a look for yourself. It’s all spelled out very clearly on the sign.

(Officer tromps to rear of car, then returns to driver’s window.)

OFFICER: I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t realize you had a sign absolving you of all responsibility for your actions. You’re free to go.

DRIVER: No harm done. Thank you, sir. (Speeds off down wrong side of road; takes out fire hydrant and ill-placed skateboarder.)

It’s not that I mind being pelted with boulders as I drive to work — especially if they’re Stonehenge-sized granite slabs. I actually enjoy the star-shaped cracks that dot my windshield, with their outspread fissures stretching like cancerous tentacles.

But if you’re going to destroy my car, then can we at least do the speed limit? You know, so I can make it to work on time?

See, it’s the whole slow-motion aspect of it that drives me nuts.

And besides, when we’re plodding uphill with hazard lights flashing, how’s there even enough of a current to sweep out all that unsecured gravel?

It doesn’t make sense … but I guess it doesn’t matter. As long as the driver has that wretched sign affixed to his tailgate, there’s nothing legally I can do.

However, I did call the 1-800 number to complain about his driving.

Perhaps not surprisingly, they told me to eat shit.

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21 thoughts on “‘Not responsible for any of the crap that flies out of my truck’

  1. BunKaryudo

    I really enjoyed the post, although I’m sorry to laugh at your misfortune. You do raise a serious issue, though. I worry that Donald Trump may have a sign on the back of his jacket saying, “Not responsible for environmental disasters, economic cataclysms and nuclear Armageddon.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Colane Conundrum Post author

        I feel naive now, because I had thought he truly wanted constructive feedback on his driving. I was willing to engage in positive dialogue to discuss how he might improve upon his imperfections.

        Sadly, I learned the hard way that my well-intentioned advice wasn’t appreciated.

        Like

  2. Sheila Moss

    Probably need a dash cam, huh? There are places that can fix small nicks without replacing the entire windshield. By the way, I was sideswiped by one of those monsters a few weeks ago on the interstate. He decided to change lanes and didn’t see me. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      I’m glad you’re OK! Wow, that’s too close of a call. When one of those trucks crosses the lane, it’s all you can do to get out of the way. Nobody wants a real-life replay of Chevy Chase in “Christmas Vacation.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jay

    Trucks are just the worst. We drive at night a lot, and there’s nothing worse than coming upon a truck passing a truck on a two-late highway. First truck doing 98km\hr, second truck doing anywhere between 97km\hr-98.2km\hr, taking upwards of 20 minutes to pass. Ugh! You don’t own the roads!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SD Gates

    Came over on the recommendation of Bun – I too did a bit about how putting up a sign seems to relieve the individual from any accountability or responsibility – my issue was with a little green traffic sign that said “Caution – Children playing”. Relieved of all parenting duties because of this sign, the parents were allowed to chat on the curb with each other while the children flung themselves perilously into traffic.
    We used to live in Fort Collins, CO and commute up to Cheyenne, WY every day – the truckers would always get in the left lane as they were going up over the pass, so they were not inconvenienced by the slow-moving trucks. Of course, they never considered what an inconvenience it was to have the rest of us driving 37 miles/hour so they could pass the trucker going 35 miles an hour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! Any friend of Bun is a friend of mine. 🙂

      Yes, there’s something about signs that gives people a sense of security — as if they only obey the sign, they don’t have to think for themselves. People often dart forward at a green light without thinking that someone coming from the other direction might not stop. The more signs that go up, the more that people’s common sense seems to vanish.

      Nothing is worse than someone poking along in the fast lane going slow. Where I live, there are two speeds: 25 mph and 125 mph. There’s no in-between. And the people going 25 mph get in the ultra-fast lane, while the people going 125 mph get on my tail. I so love my daily commute.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SD Gates

        You don’t live in the Central Valley of California do you? People love to get in the fast lane, go 40 with a mile long line of cars behind them, and then at the last minute cross over 3 lanes to exit off the highway.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Colane Conundrum Post author

        That’s exactly my experience every day. They’re on two wheels to cut you off, but then they cruise at 25 mph under the limit. And then if you try to pass them, they get upset and speed up to 100 mph. As if being passed is an insufferable indignity.

        Like

      3. SD Gates

        Exactly. But here is what I do. I guess which slowpokes are going that last minute jaunt over 3 lanes to exit and I keep right on their right side so they can’t get over. And then they miss their exit. Hee-hee! Serves them right!

        Liked by 1 person

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