Rose climbed into the cab of the big rig with the ease and confidence of someone who had done it for years. Tony suspected she’d probably taught others. Tony almost managed to climb in with some grace only to realize that he had left all of his gear on the ground outside the truck. Rose eyed him, wondering if she had made a mistake taking on this rookie.
When all his gear and Tony were secured inside the rig’s cab, Rose flatly stated, “I brought you along to help offset some of my expenses and to talk to. I’m a long-haul truck driver, and if I get someone else to ride with me then I don’t have to wear all those head gear sensors that report when I am getting sleepy and have to pull over. I’ve talked to some drivers who had sensors monitoring their bladders and calculating the miles to the next potty break.
“This truck is state-of-the-art and always in communication with the routing office computers. Every move I make is monitored by Internet of Things devices. Now when those IoT devices on board aren’t snitching on your driving, the road IoT monitors are. Speeding ends up costing me the ability to make these drives. I usually listen to talk radio and hope that some bonehead won’t be yapping about some political nonsense. I wanna talk to another human being, but I ain’t interested in what the lunatics in political power are doing to who. I don’t wanna hear about which Supreme Being you want to worship or listen to your let me convert you speech. Plus, if the only thing you have any opinion on is sports, then I am not even gonna slow down before I throw you out. Now it’s your turn.”
Tony looked at Rose and wondered if he made a poor choice in joining her on this long-haul truck. As she clicked through the gears to get the rig to highway speed, he analyzed his circumstances for surviving this bold truck driver’s assistance and completing his mission.
He cautiously asked, “You stated you are a long-haul truck driver, but you still have to deal with the IoT sensors in the truck and on the road. Are they going to report that you have picked up an unscheduled passenger? Are you going to have to explain your hitchhiker to somebody or, more specifically, some computer?”
Even though Rose was staring down the road while traveling at the posted speed, she was obviously thinking about the questions being posed. Seeing that there was very little traffic, she kicked on the autopilot to control the truck’s steering mechanisms and turned to Tony. “Okay, bub, why don’t you just put the moose on the table and tell me what’s going on with you? You show up asking for a ride, pretending to be a hitchhiker, wearing high-grade military fatigues with the insignias torn off, sporting a lame story of your car now being a ghost from Christmas past. All the while you’re scanning the area for something that you expect is hunting you.
“Now I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but none of your story rings true from what I’m seeing. I’m asking again for likely the last time, what’s the real poop?”
Tony ground his teeth a moment, then, after a deep breath and a little reservation, stated, “Ma’am, you said you didn’t want to hear any politics, or religion, and certainly nothing about organized sports, so that really only leaves existential philosophy or storytelling. I freely admit that I know next to nothing about existential philosophy, so how about I regale you with stories of woe, drama, heartache, comedy, and of course pathos? And as a bonus for your generosity, I will grant you an audience to enjoy my singing prowess by recreating one or more of the most famous songs and heartfelt lyrics from that musical genius, Lonny Lupnerder.
“Surely you know of the tune, Me and Rosie McGee? I can remind you if you will please turn on the windshield wipers so I can have some background rhythm to support my rendition…”
Rose’s eyes got wide and her breathing shortened as she asked, “You can sing?!? And of all the pieces of music I love the most, you chose Rosie McGee? Alright, here go the wipers and I’m going to join you at the chorus! Here we go, a…5, 6, 7, 8…”
After 50 miles of singing they both stopped to keep from getting hoarse and wearing out the windshield wipers on a dry windshield.
Still breathing heavily from all the singing, Rose turned to Tony and with a flirtatious look on her face coyly asked, “Was it good for you too?”
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