George rides with the CB on, he always has and probably always will. He’s one of those drivers you will hear that comes on and says, “Eastbound, you got a city kitty shooting you in the face at the two-four-one yardstick, city kitty at the 241, come on.” Every great once in a while someone will shout back, and he thanks them and they tell each other to have a nice day and drive safely and it seems like we made a new friend. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen occasionally, and it usually seems to make his day.
I’m still fascinated with the CB. It has been my wish to talk on it with fluidity since my first ride in the truck. I was pretty disappointed to find the only fluid language spoken on the CB anymore is hate. I don’t judge people by the color of their skin. Like George says, there are so many other reasons to hate people – if you get hung up on their skin color, you may never get to the really valid reasons to hate them. No need to be impatient, it doesn’t matter what color their skin is, people will reveal to you whether or not they’re an asshole pretty quick, so you should at least give it a go for a minute or two.
The CB chatter sets the mood in the truck sometimes – if the “N” word is the first thing we hear when George flips the switch in the morning, it sets a pall over the mood in the truck. He always shakes his head and pulls out, giving deep sigh and a “Well, here we go” kind of look. These are the days he keeps the volume low and doesn’t tell his friends on the other side about much ahead. Thank goodness these days are usually few and far between. He’s had some amazing CB conversations — we’ve “met” a lot of people. It’s awesome to have a decent conversation with a stranger, especially when the stranger is an old-timer with a thick Texas drawl and a laugh like Crusty the Clown. Partner, we didn’t get your name, but you made our morning going through Austin with your lamentations about “Well I’d just about rather be in Dallas right now, er hey-yell, er anywhar else that serves cold beer.” He punctuated the phrase with a perfect Crusty laugh, and it made us both bust out laughing. Definitely the right way to start the day, even if it was in the “hey-yell” traffic of Austin, Texas.
I totally suck at CB chatter, I don’t know the rules and I sound like a dummy. I tried to answer a guy on 75, going through Georgia, and ended up boffing it completely. I hear: “Northbound, looking good back to the 62. Tifton’s got a city boy welcoming committee at the 59, but he’s got a customer on the ramp, come on.” I grabbed the mic.
“10-4, driver, appreciate it. You be safe out there.”
“Well thank you little lady, you got a copy on what’s behind?”
I froze. I had no pertinent information for this man. I had been reading an article about fruit bats and wasn’t even really sure where we were. I had no business on the CB, at all. I thrust the mic at George.
“You’re good to the line man — coops are open down there, like they always are. Be safe, driver.”
He turned to me with the “very disappointed” look.