Well...there was this beer truck, see.....

SdoubleA

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This story of my long ago is for mature readers only. I hope it brings y'all a laugh or two.






Well….there was this beer truck see,



In the Summer of 1971, I was working on a construction crew building assorted what not projects to earn a living such as it was at the time. It was difficult for many of us to find work back then, due to certain viewpoints “many” harbored about us. I am not complaining, just stating a fact.

One afternoon, we were traveling to look over an upcoming project. There were three of us, two members of the greatest generation speaking of the foreman and ramrod, and then me. Being the youngest and fittest of the three, I had been volunteered to drive that day. I say fittest, for I was the only one of our group that could fit comfortably behind the steering wheel of our company's pickup. That, plus the fact it was a new Ford pickup and the other two brave souls sure as heck were not about to be accused of putting any scratches on it.

Oh sure, it was a nice brand spankin' new pickup and all, but not real practical in the fact that it had a vinyl covered bench seat and no factory air conditioning of any type. It seemed the company bean counter wasn't about to spend “his” money for any creature comforts in a vehicle when it boiled down to the peasants that would be using it. Besides, construction guys were supposed to be tough.

Did I mention it was summer? Well, it was. In Oklahoma at that. All went well the first hunnert miles or so, and then all the dang heavy traffic came to a complete dead ass halt in the middle of the highway. We could not see what the holdup was, only a bumper to bumper string of vehicles as far as we could see to the front. Within a couple minutes the same held true behind us as well.

There was no turning around, the highway having steep drop offs on both sides, and all lanes full. We were hopelessly confined for what turned out to be almost two hours.... and it was puredee ole HOT. The outside temp was 115 or so. No breeze. No shade. Two chubby guys sharing the deluxe hotter by the minute vinyl covered butt and back burning bench seat with me. If that wasn't bad enough, the other two guys had filled up on Mexican food before we hit the road. Yeah, it was heat, sweat, and the after effects of rich greasy burritos or whatever the Hell it was they had filled up on at lunch were adding to the overall ambience of the situation.

It was summer, hot inside the pickup, but would have been even hotter out on the pavement walking round. No drinking water. I could almost relate to how the three Hebrew children felt as they drew closer to the fiery furnace. Nowhere to go. Stuck. Even the locusts were quiet, probably having succumbed to heat exhaustion. The only sound I could hear, besides the duet sitting beside me, was a whirring sound coming from behind me some vehicles back. What the heck was that noise anyway?

After closer inspection in my outside mirror, I found out the noise was coming from a reefer truck. I imagined to myself how cool it must be within the refrigerated cargo box of the truck. But wait! After a double take on my part, it registered in my hot and tired mind what kind of cargo the truck was carrying. It was a beer truck! And it was just sitting there! I had to think fast. It was a good thing I had specialized experience from another lifetime.

Having surmised the situation, and formulating a plan, I decided a frontal attack would be the most logical course of action for me to take. I calmly stepped out of the pickup while keeping my back towards the truck driver, reached behind the seat back and retrieved a large white knit painter's rag. Tying the rag around my neck, I pulled the rag up over my nose and turned to face the unsuspecting drivers sitting in their cars behind me.

They were somewhat dismayed at the apparition standing before them, and even more so when I transformed my fore fingers and thumbs into "pistols" and began walking in their direction.

Waking past the first few vehicles I could clearly see the driver of the refrigerated beer truck. He was middle aged, and eyeing me warily as I approached. Coming to a stop below his door I ordered the driver to step out of the vehicle while still keeping both improvised pistols trained on him.

He looked at me long and hard for what seemed to be several minutes...and then complied with my command. He slowly climbed down out of the rig, and I quickly ushered him to the rear of the truck, his hands held high all the while. I then ordered him to open the door and to give me the loot. If he complied, no one would get hurt, I promised him that.

Shortly afterwards, I was making my getaway back to our stopped dead in its tracks pickup, a bounty of one six pack of iced cold tallboys as my loot. The bewildered truck driver stood there not knowing what to do….other than laugh. He must have watched me disappear into the heat waves rising from the pavement.

Yeah….it was still hot, but those iced cold beverages really hit the spot… and helped make the difference that day.

Within the next thirty minutes or so we were able to get back on our way, leaving smiles and memories with the witnesses we left behind in our wake.

The foreman said I wasn't too damn bad for a punk kid, and the frugal bean counter got his new Ford pickup back safely later that evening. Well, maybe not safely, but it had been properly christened with honest sweat, Mexican food by-products… and beer cans. At least we put the cans into the bed of the pickup, properly collapsed of course.
 
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