Thursday, October 22, 2009

Road Kill Fandango, Galahad and The Mother Truckers

When the flattened remnants of mangled road kill stood up and belly-danced before my watering eyes, I should’ve known something was up. In fact, it was my breakfast. I was going to puke, vomit, hurl, blow chow.  And right now. But, at hour three of a ten hour drive, I was running at 70 miles per hour in the fast lane boxed in by a giant blue truck with “Galahad - How’s my driving?” stenciled on the door and a lovely monolithic “Jersey” wall. The “Happy Halloween” pumpkin donut I had eaten along with a multi-vitamin and other daily morning nostrums I had taken before my solo drive to NC were clawing their way back up my throat like a chain gang of cranky hamsters. With tiny little blowtorches.

Options were limited. I could not swing across 4 lanes thanks to Galahad who had me pinned. There would be no comfortable off-ramp and open door, no baptizing the side of the road with my steaming stomach contents while someone good-naturedly holds my hair and pats my back, no leisurely clean-up and no deep cleansing breaths. The pumpkin donut and the pills staged in the back of my throat setting up to blurt with volcanic velocity from my sealed lips, spraying hot chunks all over my lap and steering wheel at 70 miles per hour. I am the proud mother of necessity and had to think McGyver-quick of something inventive while not ramming my car into the wall. It was go-time and my midsection was flipping with intent, made even more immediate by the fact that Galahad the Truck was watching me…Actually the driver was, not the truck itself, but those guys are so attached to their vehicles they seem blended like centaurs of the highway. Metal and flesh Siamese Twins.

Split second timing critical, I darted my eyes to the back seat to see (Angels sing!) an abandoned McDonald’s bag left by my pig-like kids. Eyes back on the road, holding the steering wheel steady with my weaker left hand, I groped frantically with my right arm and caught the bag, whipped it up to my face and achieved sweet, sweet respite. Twice. Nice and neat. No besmirchment of my travel pod. Can I multi-task or what?

After dabbing my mouth with wet wipes, which I neurotically keep on hand as a card-carrying germ phobic, I gingerly rolled the bag down and placed it on the floorboard of the passenger side intending to make a “deposit” when I could finally find an off-ramp. Flat Shoals, Georgia coming right up. Congratulations Shoal-ians, you get my DNA. Right then, I looked up to see, much to my complete dismay, Galahad’s driver, still pacing me,  asking me in silent road sign language, “Are you ok?” I gave him an embarrassed “Ok” sign. To which he responded with three sharp toots of his air horn.

Sure beats having my hair held.

All the way to I-85, Galahad reintroduced himself in my rear view mirror, his shiny grinning grill and flashing headlights fixed in a perma-smile. He passed me on the left with a light toot, or gently, if gentle can be trucking trait, appeared in front of me inviting me to draft his slipstream to save gas. I knew it was him because he was transporting on his flat bed a huge mysterious lumpy cylindrical object, guy-wired down and cloaked in black visqueen flapping in the wind. It looked like a giant be-condomed penis, of all things. No mistaking Galahad the Guardian Road Angel, his payload called him out!

More than once, I think in cahoots with the CB fraternity of fellow good guy trucker guys, Galahad delivered disciplinary rolling road blocks to the madly erratic amphetamine befuddled or asleep at the wheel “mother truckers” out there who were, for sport, demonically scaring the shit out of chicks in small cars and grandma and grandpa in Winnebagos.

We parted ways as I veered off east toward the purple foothills of the Appalachians, waving a thumb’s up to Galahad. He shot back a prolonged blast from his horn and rumbled off west into a brilliant Fall sunset.

Thanks, dude, wherever you are.


  1. I've done it. I've hurled right onto my steering wheel. ugh. The memories you've brought back. Thanks. The cleanup was horrendous needless to say.

  2. Excellent. You took what would be an incident for most and found the story in it.

  3. peedee: The cleaning up would've taken a HazMat team and gallons of Pine Sol to satisfy me. And the memory would still linger. Geez, I am getting the heaves just thinking about it. Wasn't the writing about it supposed to be therapeutic?

    Rick: Yep. There is story everywhere and i'm a-gonna tell it! ;)


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