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CATTLE TODAY

IT'S THE PITTS -- BUMPER TO BUMPER

by: Lee Pitts

He promised her a life of travel and culture, of meeting interesting people and constant companionship. So here she was behind the wheel of an eighteen wheeler stuck in Denver traffic while her "sleeping bag" was sawing logs in the sleeper. She had a South Dakota address, her home on wheels was a Kenworth and her only constant companion was the trailer in her mirrors.

The only people this gear-jamming-mama ever met were at the truck stop or on the C.B. The only culture she was exposed to was if they happened to stop at a TCBY for some yogurt. Her hobby was reading, not books, but billboards and bumper stickers. Stuck in the stop-and-go traffic she had read all the classics. The commuters wore their feelings on their car bumpers. She pulled on the air horn as a car passed with a sticker that read, Honk If You Love Jesus. Then she got embarrassed when another car passed with a bumper that crudely said, Honk If You Are Horny.

A four-wheel drive pickup passed that was Insured by Smith and Wesson. A patriotic bumper simply stated The Marines Could Use A Few Good Men. The lady trucker muttered to herself, "Couldn't we all?"

There were times, she had to admit, when her truck driving hubby just didn't make the grade.

Back home the people seemed more reluctant to wear their feelings on their bumpers. Mostly the messages consisted of, Where is Wall Drug? and My Other Car is a Horse. But in the cities there was a bumper crop of messages. They came in all sizes and models. Democratic and Republican, liberal and conservative. The talking bumpers admonished anyone who could read how to live their life, that they loved a particular breed of dog and what radio station to listen to. Some still wore political bumper stickers from the 2004 elections; some to brag that they'd voted for the winners and others just to say, I told you so.

Some of the favorites on her reading list were; Keep honking, I'm reloading; Ewes not fat... Ewes fluffy; I brake for garage sales; and her personal favorite, If you are rich, I am single.

Just out of Ogallala her sleeping bag finally poked his head out of the sleeper and asked if it was his turn to drive. At about the same time a topless Mercedes cut right in front of the big rig causing our truck drivin' mama to slam on her brakes and stack up 50,000 pounds of Nevada heifers. The Mercedes driver was wearing an expensive pair of sunglasses on top his head and was gabbing away on his cell phone, completely unaware of the carnage he almost caused. On one side of his foreign car's bumper it said, Catch me if you can, and on the other side it said, If you can read this you are too close.

The more he talked on his cell phone the slower the driver of the sports car drove, causing our heroine to gear down. What the heck was the jerk in such a hurry for if all he was going to do was slow down?

After regaining her composure and when the coast was clear our heroine truck driver moved into the passing lane and maneuvered her trailer right next to the foreign made convertible. She maintained that position just long enough for one of the badly shaken heifers to back up to an air hole and... well... I think you get the picture. It wasn't anything the leather upholstery in the Mercedes wasn't used to but the driver was no doubt caught off guard. Probably even got his expensive sunglasses dirty too. What a shame.

The lady trucker mashed on the pedal and left the Mercedes in the dust... and other foreign debris. On the back of her trailer was a bumper snicker of her own that read: "Have A Nice Day."

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