If you would have asked me this morning if I had ever written a post about the weird stuff I see while I’m driving my delivery truck all over the place, I would have said yes. I would have said it is a very self-assured manner, and if you had pressed me about it, I could have even quoted you a line or two from that post.
Here’s the problem—I can’t find it anywhere. I can’t find it on this site, I can’t find it in my files, I can’t find it when I use the nifty little “search” function on my computer. There could be any number of reasons for this. Off the top of my head, I can think of three: 1) I wrote the story, posted it, and just can’t find it because I’m a scatter-brained goofball with the attention span of a meatball and the stick-to-it-iveness of a dirty band-aid. 2) I wrote the story, but in a rare moment of good judgment, chose to delete it instead of carry on about things no one cared about. 3) I never wrote the story; I made the whole thing up in my mind, either waking or sleeping, and I should probably seek professional help because my imagination is definitely starting to win out in the ever-raging battle between reality and the weird shit going on in my ear-holder.
The point of all that is this: At one time, I was going to write a post about the weird stuff I see while I’m driving my delivery truck all over the place. I was going to call it “Things I Saw,” followed by something clever that pertains to something I saw. For example, once I saw a truck carrying an entire load of brand new Port-O-Potties (that’s the part I thought I had already written). I was going to call it “Things I Saw: Shit I Didn’t See.” See how that’s real clever, because they were brand new Port-O-Potties? That’s just how I roll…cleverly.
Anyway, now that I’ve rambled on through all that, allow me to introduce you to the babble of the evening: “Things I Saw: That’s Not Funny.”
It’s kind of hard work seeing things while you’re driving a big-ass truck, because if you look at something for too long, there’s a good chance that you’ll run over it. My truck is a rotting, rolling death-trap, and it takes maximum concentration to keep it on the road. Keeping it in between those silly lines they paint is nothing short of fantastic. Still, sometimes I elect to risk my life and the lives of others by observing the various scenes around me. You’d be amazed at how often this pans out.
I’ve already told you about the Port-O-Potty thing, and just to get it out of the way, here’s another: I once passed an under-construction hotel, and saw perched atop the scaffolding, three stories up, a Port-O-Potty. Almost half of it was hanging out over the edge, nothing under it except the ground, which was hell of far down. I don’t think I would ever have the courage to use such a precariously placed waste-evacuation facility, nor would I have the courage to walk around under it. If I had been working on that hotel, it never would have gotten finished. “Come on, Ray, we’re working on the Southeast corner today.”
“Yeah, um, I’ll be in the kitchen.”
“We finished the kitchen three weeks ago.”
“I need to check the, uh, flame propellent before the inspector shows up.”
“I don’t think that’s a real thing.”
“Go away right now or I’m telling everyone you had sex with your sister.”
“That’s what they’ll say.”
“You’re a real dick.”
Not a good way to make friends, but at least I won’t be covered in stored amounts of feces.
Back on topic…
Once, while I was waiting at a stop light, I looked over and saw a woman in the car next to me. She was handcuffed to the steering wheel. See, because I’m sitting up higher in my truck, I can easily see into most other vehicles around me, and I can also sit and stare without being easily noticed. It didn’t really sink in when I first glanced over, so I looked back. Sure enough, this chick was handcuffed to her steering wheel. Aside from the cuffs, she didn’t look particularly crime-tastic. I wondered if maybe she was an undercover cop who had just been assigned a new partner, even though she worked alone, and maybe her plan to ditch her new partner during a stakeout had backfired and now she was heading back to the station angry and ready to kick a little ass. She didn’t look particularly angry. She glanced up and saw me staring. She glanced down at the cuffs and then clicked on her blinker, pulled into the turning lane, and took off.
Once I saw a bunch of guys jumping out of a helicopter. There’s a military base near one of my delivery routes, and the helicopter definitely looked like something military types would jump out of, so I assumed that was what was going on. I watched until they started deploying their parachutes, but then I had to start looking at the road again.
The other day, I looked over and saw this girl crying. This was at a red light again. I glanced over, and it looked like she was wiping tears away. I was curious enough to watch until I knew for sure, but when she started to do that wracking sob thing, I looked away. You could tell she was trying to hide the fact that she was crying from all of the strangers stuck in traffic around her. I thought about how it would suck to be stuck in traffic and crying, too. When I told rik about it, I was a little astounded by my cynicism. “She looked pretty upset, but not like how you would look if you just lost a family member. I don’t know why, but it just sort of felt like she was crying over something trivial—like love or something.”
Today, I was driving down the highway, and I casually glanced over at the pickup that was passing me. I noticed that it was filled with clear plastic trash bags. The trash bags were filled up with The Grinch. You know—the guy that stole Christmas. Plush toys, tons of ‘em. Some of them were pink, some were yellow, and of course, some of them were green. It was bizarre. I don’t know how many there were, but the bed was filled with them, the bags were stuffed.
Traffic in that lane sped up, and the pickup was gone. Too bad. But then traffic in that lane slowed down again, and my lane sped up. I broke out my handy-dandy camera phone that has never once been handy or dandy when used as a camera. I prepared to take a picture of the Grinches as I passed:
Stupid camera phone, with its two and a half hour delay.
I glanced into my mirror, hoping that I would see them pulling back even with me, so that I could try again. And that’s when I saw him.
Just sitting there, in my side-view mirror. The thing about seeing Ronald McDonald riding shotgun in a pickup truck full of multi-colored Grinches is that it really fucks with your head. Because your first thought is that you’ve simply lost your mind.
You’re just like, “Ah, so this is how it goes, eh?” Because there is no way you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing. And then, as they passed me, my serenity at finally losing my shit turned to dread.
He was talking to the driver, see, and they were both laughing, laughing, have a good time, and then, just as they passed me, he stopped laughing, and turned and looked up at me. Freakishly sober face, and his eyes looked lifeless man, I shit you not. He stared at me until they had passed me, and then the pickup rocketed ahead and began weaving through traffic. I watched as long as I could, but I soon lost them in traffic.
As the utter creepiness of the situation faded, I realized that the guy probably did that crap all the time, just to mess with people. I’d do it, too. Just give everyone the scary face as you pass, because you know that dude gets tired of people staring at him. Also, I would go into Burger King and Wendy’s all the time and ask people are they my mommy.
Anyway, it creeped me right the hell out, to where I started laughing manically (that’s my solution to pretty much anything, is to laugh—nervousness, fear, pain, I laugh like a lunatic). The thing is, I’m not one of those people who fears clowns. In fact, I once got bored and curious enough to type the words “clown porn” into a search engine. I know, man—I have the courage of a hero.
But to look in your mirror and see nothing but clown—it’s eerie.
I’m sleepy now, and I can’t remember the other two things I wanted to tell you about. So, in closing: watch out for clowns.