So, I was reading my last post and I realized that people who are unaffiliated with the trucking industry might make hateful decisions about the people who do the job based on a few of my personal experiences.
Let me be very clear here: there are some of the finest people on the earth trucking this country right now. And without them, you would have nothing. They work hard and are treated with disrespect and disregard on so many levels it’s really disgusting.
There are human beings in those trucks who are often forgotten because all anyone cares about is the freight – they don’t care how it gets there, they just want their rose-scented Guatemalan roach spray and they want it right fucking NOW.
Know that I have the deepest respect for the drivers who do it right. Also know that they never had a more determined foot soldier when I was fighting for them.
But sometimes, when all you do is fight battle after battle and carry scar after scar from angry folks who will always be angry, no matter what happens, it gets old. And it gets tiring. And the goal is often forgotten because all you can see is the next fight.
I also say “fuck” a lot and believe it or not, the old-time truckers don’t like that word. Or they don’t like it when a woman says it to a government official because the government official is acting like a fucktard about something trucking-related.
Long story short, I had to go. For my own sanity and the sanctity of the fight.
I hope this clears things up and remember – if you bought it – it came on a truck.
Believe me, I’ve worked some tough rooms. I’ve been called, “the dumbest broad in trucking,” and a lovely variety of what I am pretty sure were supposed to be insults but were typed with such seething anger they turned into illegible hieroglyphics with a “dumb ass” scattered here and there.
It comes with the territory when working with/for the public. You get used to it. I will say I was invited to break bread and be civil more than I got the standard, “I keep my pee jug right by the seat so I can throw it on you if I ever see you.”
There were good days and bad days. While sorting through my files to separate the forty million transportation files from my personal writing, I came across this reply I left on what was apparently a bad day.
I thought enough of it to copy it and attach it to the original file, so apparently it made me feel better.
Feel free to use your own version of it, should you have a “Blustery Commenter” day.
Dear Blustery Commenter,
First and foremost, I appreciate your 77 clicks to the article. It boosts my numbers exponentially, and I commend you for it. Your strong opinions, and flagrant disregard for the proper use of “your” and “you’re,” give me an in depth view into the psyche of someone who is either so angry they can’t grammar properly, or so horrifically confused by contractions, they spew them like a garden hose and hope to wet something important with an apostrophe by chance.
In closing, please feel free to subscribe to the “file it under fuck it” option. Lose your way to this portion of the website forever. I assure you; it will free you of the cumbersome burden of attempting to call me an idiot – it’s “you’re and idiot,” by the way, not “your a idiot.” It will also allow me to continue my existence free of the knowledge that you might actually get it right someday and make a bold public statement about my visceral ability to reason.
I felt sorry for him until an hour-and pint-of-human-blood-ago.
His occasional fits of licking himself in one spot until his fur and skin dissolve are alarming in their escalation. I’ve gone to bed with him just beginning to fixate on a tiny spot and woken up in the morning to find the poor bastard bald from the waist down with part of his liver exposed.
We’ve narrowed it down to “seasonal allergies” through a process of paying off our veterinarian’s lake house. Food allergies were ruled out by spending roughly the same amount we would on a kitty-sized heroin habit for weekly cat food bills. He currently eats (and copiously vomits) kibbles made of meat held to higher standards than those of human baby food.
The best we can do is treat the symptoms when they arise. Which would be fine if this particular cat wasn’t the closest thing to feral a house cat can be.
He has seasonal allergies and he’s skittish. There are still no answers for the skittish part and no money left for a cat therapist. All I can attest to is 10 years of trying to love this weirdo through his problems, which seems to be a prevailing theme in my life in general.
Mind you, this same cat acts like mesmerized serpent when our vet has him on the table. The hissing, pissing nightmare of crating him magically ceases when the crate is opened and he finds himself on the table, under the lights. From that moment forward, at least until I get him back to the car, he’s a lovely, docile creature who stands perfectly still while I look like a turd for letting him lick himself bald and liver-less.
Hell yes I’m jealous. I want a lake house and a cat who loves me.
According to the vet, pilling a cat is “easy peasey.” Keep in mind this is the lady who can also talk me into buying pet food worth its weight in solid silver.
“First, cover the pill with an oily of fatty base because antihistamines taste awful and we want it to slide down his throat easily.”
“Second, wrap the kitty in a towel so he feels safe.”
Wait. What about my safety?
“Third, part his jaw at the joint, push the pill down his throat with your index finger.”
Yeah, about my safety. I have concerns.
“Pinch his little jaw shut gently and rub his throat – he’ll swallow reflexively. That should keep him from being so miserable when he has flare-ups. I’ll have the tech get you a pheromone plug-in to try at home. It should help with his anxiety.”
We did not discuss my anxiety and I gave her money. Again.
Whether it’s an effort to warn the general public or clear my conscience of dark hatred is probably a moot point, however, I would like to address a few key points the veterinarian-of-the-lake didn’t mention.
The instructions should probably include, “have twelve assistants and a giant net available” and plainly state that the part where she told me to “coat the pill in something oily or fatty” should definitely not be done first if it takes 45 minutes to catch the cat to wrap it in a towel so he feels safe after you’ve chased him around the house for 45 minutes.
Clearly step one should be laying out the fatty substance and the pink, pinhead-sized pill in close proximity of one another. Refrain from mixing the two until the cat is caught and wrapped unless you hate your whole life and enjoy crushing disappointment.
Needless to say, catch one ended with harsh feelings between myself and Mr. Skittish when I screamed in frustration after finding a puddle of antihistamine-butter-goo where I left the pill. I’m here to testify that opening a child-proof medication bottle is positively impossible to do while holding a thrashing cat-burrito
Also of note, you will never actually get a cat wrapped in the towel twice, but it will be necessary to staunch multiple wounds you’ll no doubt obtain in the second quest for the freaked-out cat.
So let’s forget any pretense here.
My second attempt at making the cat feel safe was a “three-footer,” meaning I only got three of his feet under control. This was a grave error in judgement from which I sustained a facial wound worthy of a Quentin Tarantino movie as the fur-rocket launched himself off of my face towards the bedroom.
Blinded by my flapping eyelid, I slipped on a $20 pile of cat-food-vomit chasing him down the hallway. At this point it was all-out war. I was determined to make him feel safe.
I blindly clawed my way towards the smell of cat urine while the cat displayed his heightened level of anxiety by liberally spraying everything in his path worth more than $25 before darting underneath the bed.
(Fun fact: cats can sense when something is expensive or irreplaceable. It actually intensifies the smell of their urine and improves their aim.)
When I finally got him backed into a corner under the bed I realized I’d left the towel in the living room with enough of my DNA on it to clone a species.
I did, however, have one of the pills in my pocket because my initial intention was to lovingly wrap him in a towel, place him on the kitchen counter, remove the medication from my pocket while gently holding him in place in his happy-fucking-place towel, wiping the stupid pill in butter, and shoving it down his ungrateful throat.
But things didn’t work out like that.
I’m not going to lie. I just grabbed him and laid on top of him. Honestly, in my altered state of pain and near-exhaustion I no longer gave a shit if he felt safe, I was going to feel a whole lot more fucking safe with that feral bastard pinned underneath me and the bed, towel be damned.
I grabbed his jaw and tried to gently pry from the joint with my thumb while clutching the intact antihistamine like it was The Holy Grail in the other hand. It was this posture in which I discovered yet another key point the veterinarian didn’t mention.
Cats have jaw teeth that can shred titanium.
It took me a second to realize the growls had become gurgles because while “gently parting his jaw at the joint”, his jaw teeth had inflicted an arterial bleed on my thumb that was shooting directly into his windpipe.
I blame pure adrenaline for thinking how fortunate it was to have an oily substance to assist in shoving this pill down the esophagus of my demon-cat from hell with such ease and efficiency. I did not pause to rub his throat as I wasn’t sure if he was reflexively swallowing the pill or a large portion of my thumb-meat.
Instead, I deflected parting blows from a cat who clearly did not feel safe anymore. I slid myself from under the bed in the trail of blood and hair I left going in. I briefly paused to consider smashing the $40 pheromone plug-in.
As I limped to the bathroom to attend to my wounds, I stepped in a pile of foamy, pink vomit that looked suspiciously like the blood-soaked antihistamine I had, only mere moments earlier, fought for my life over.
It started with a simple candle-lighting. I feel as lost as everyone else right now, something as benign as lighting a candle to meditate on seemed like a great idea. Also, I was out of vodka.
Of course, I can’t just leave the house on a whim to buy a proper meditation candle (or more vodka) because death and stuff, so I dug around in the closet until I found a scented candle. Remember those? Scented candles were the predecessors of wax pots and essential oil diffusers. At one time there were entire cities built around the production of scented candles. Old people like me know these things because we’ve been trying to cover the smell of marijuana since 1983, when whether or not parental units could smell weed in your room was our biggest concern.
The candle was black, which didn’t seem strange. My candle-period coincided with my Morrisey fascination, where everything on the outside must be black due to conditions of blackness on the inside.
I lit it and held back the urge to oscillate wildly.
I took deep breaths.
I wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t relax. I wasn’t in the groove. Something was missing.
I needed a chant to make this candle-lighting meditation complete, so I did what anyone who makes terrible life decisions would do – I Googled it.
“Incantations and meditative chants to promote peaceful prosperity.”
Boom. My bitch. I skimmed the piece until I could find something remotely pronounceable. I was ready to meditate my way to the sunny beaches of Cancun. When the plague ends, that is, but I don’t need that negativity in my chant so I proceed while pretending like everything is going to be just fine and shut the fuck up, brain, we are not all going to die and I’m getting ready to mesmerize you with my chant and meditation. So there.
I composed myself.
I lit the candle again.
I took a deep breath and chanted, “Inna gadda da vida, honey, inna gadda da vida,” because I couldn’t remember the words to the stupid prosperity chant and averting my eyes from the flame to read it would be counter-productive. Or so I thought.
A giant raccoon landed on my desk. Before I could get the words, “What the fu…” out of my mouth, he said, “Hi. I’m Larry. You conjured me?”
“Oh shit, Larry,” I stammered, “There’s been a mistake. I was trying to chant my way to Cancun.”
“There’s a plague on, you know,” said Larry, knowingly.
“I don’t need that kind of negativity in my chants right now, Larry,” I snapped. “If you’re going to be a downer, you can just get your ringed ass back into the universe.”
“Do you have any grapes?” asked Larry.
“What? Grapes? Christ, I haven’t seen a grape since March. I don’t leave the house, Larry. That’s why I’m currently crazy enough to think I could conjure my way to Cancun through meditation,” I cried.
“That’s too bad, luv,” said Larry. “I quite like grapes, you know.”
I ignored the fact that Larry had suddenly adopted a British accent.
“I don’t have any grapes, but I do have some stuff floating on top of the dirty dishwater in the sink you’re welcome to,” I offered.
“Does it stink?” asked Larry.
“Oh, you bet,” I confirmed.
“Worse than you?” he pressed.
“That’s a low blow Larry. I showered just a, well, time doesn’t matter anymore, Larry. If you want the sink-critters, you can have them. Leave me out of this.” I said.
Larry gave me as dirty a look as a raccoon can give with their cute little faces. He trundled off to the kitchen to check out the sink flotsam.
I covered the candle, snuffed the flame and decided I really didn’t want to know if Larry was real because who needs a critical raccoon with a bad British accent in their lives with a plague on?
As for Cancun, well, one day again, maybe. But for now, I will revert to my old behaviors of smoking weed, oscillating wildly and wondering how soon is now. I’ll probably have a few more blue Mondays but when we finally get to be out and about again, it will be like fascination street.
Stay safe, my friends. And never Google your chants or incantations.