I always believed that CB radios were just toys for rednecks. While I was in driver training I thought that a CB was the last thing I wanted in my truck. Once on the road, however, I quickly learned that they are a vital piece of equipment for every over-the-road driver.
Another driver using a CB can warn you of an accident or traffic tie-up ahead. In those events you can find out which lanes (if any) are open. CB’s also have weather bands that warn you of impending bad weather that you may be approaching. These come on automatically if there’s an emergency announcement.
A CB is also great if you’re lost. I can’t count the times I got accurate directions from other truckers when I had no idea where the hell I was. It was amazing that I got accurate directions every time. Amazing because there are a high percentage of assholes out there driving trucks.
The most common messages heard on a CB are “Smokey Alerts,” warnings of cops ahead. “There’s a bear at the southbound 110. Looks like he’s checkin’ velocities.” That’s when you kill your cruise control and get it down to the speed limit fast.
Of course, there’s a lot of just plain bullshit that comes over the airwaves too.
There are always the idiots who open their microphones and burp, fart, sing, scream or just hold the open mic next to their blaring radios. The response is usually swift and always to the point – “When the hell are they gonna start making you pass an I.Q. test before you can buy a CB?”
Just for the hell of it, here are a few of the better comments I heard while driving.
Coming through eastern Indiana, I heard the following dialogue:
“Anybody know how far to the Ohio state line?”
“You’re close driver.”
“Yeah, I know I’m close asshole, but you got
anything better than that?”
“Sure, smart ass. You’re real close.”
Coming through West Virginia very early one morning, this one hit me between the eyes and woke me up:
“OK, drivers. Don’t take 64 west. Some poor soul lost the wheels off his trailer, and they say it’s gonna close exit 1 for most of the day.” “Most of the day? It don’t take that long to put a trailer back up on its tandems.”
“Yeah, but you forget - you’re in West-by-God-Virginia. Everything takes longer here.”“WHAT’S WRONG WITH WEST VIRGINIA?”
“Let’s just put it this way driver - the best thing that ever came out of West Virginia was I-77.”
There’s a device that some drivers put on their CB’s that makes a “beep” every time they release their microphone button. Drivers call it a “roger beep” and it’s supposed to let people know that you are finished talking. It’s annoying as hell, and I guess I’m not the only person that it bothers. After one particularly long CB conversation filled with “beeps”, another driver asked:
“Hey driver. Where’d you get that roger beep. You a wannabe ‘JB’ driver?”
“No, if I wanted to be a JB driver I’d be in one of them ugly yellow cabovers right now. I got the roger beep just to piss you off.” BEEP...BEEP...BEEP
Two drivers were discussing how many hours they had each been working lately and how little time they had at home when a third driver chimed in:
“Keep working real hard, drivers. There’s a whole lot of people out there on welfare countin’ on you.”
Many drivers sing over their CB’s, mainly at night and primarily to keep themselves awake. Most of them suck. One night coming through Kentucky, a driver started singing the Elvis song, “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” and he really didn’t have a bad voice. When he got to the line “is your heart filled with pain?” another driver cut in with:
“No driver, but my ears are startin’ to bleed.”
Coming through Council Bluffs, Iowa on a Saturday afternoon in June, I started hearing reports of a young lady on a bicycle. Sure enough, about three miles later, there she was, riding on the shoulder of I-80 in what could be called “skimpy” attire. One driver got on his radio:
“Y’know, what she’s doin’ is illegal.”
“What – ridin’ a bike on the interstate?”
“Nope....peddlin’ her ass all over town.”
On a trip from Montezuma, Georgia to Atlanta, there was a traffic backup on I-75. One frustrated driver exclaimed:
“What the fuck is the holdup? It’s only 2:30 in the afternoon.”
Interjection from a second, anonymous driver:
“Too many assholes and not enough asphalt.”
One trucker tooling down the highway at about 70 mph, noticed something hanging from the rear bumper of another truck, and warned the other driver:
“Driver – you got something hanging from your trailer’s bumper. Looks like a tie-down strap or something.”
To which he got the reply:
“Thanks, bud. Just an old dog leash. OH SHIT! Is the dog still there?”
On my way down I-65 through Virginia, I overheard a conversation concerning sports. Three or four drivers were participating, and I just listened:
“Who won the race on Sunday?”
“What – the NASCAR race? Never watch it. All NASCAR is is a bunch of rednecks chasin’ a faggot in circles.” (an obvious reference to one of the younger and better drivers on the circuit.)
“So, you don’t like sports?”
“I love football. Great excuse to crack open a six-pack, park my ass in front of the TV all day Sunday and not have to do anything around the house. Problem is, my wife’s a football nut too, so nothin’ gets done on Sundays.”
“My wife and I are into more physically active Sunday afternoons.”
“Like what? She beats the shit out of you then drinks your beer and takes your paycheck?”
“Every Sunday, driver.”
On I-65, again, this time in Kentucky just south of Louisville, traffic was at a standstill because of the inevitable construction. One driver had this comment:
“Will the person who called in for this cluster-fuck please report to the interstate. Your order is ready.”
On a journey through Alabama, I heard two drivers discussing the difficulties associated with quitting the smoking habit:
“Man, I gotta stop smokin’ cigarettes. I can’t stop coughin’.”
“Try sunflower seeds, driver. They worked for me.”
“OK. But aren’t they awful hard to light?”
Pulling into a truck stop near Gary, Indiana at about midnight, I heard the following lament:
“Damn – they never told me I had to back this bitch up!”
A fight broke out – over the radio, of course –concerning a musical selection. When one driver played “Dixie” over his CB in Indiana, the Civil War was resurrected. It started with geographic slurs – “You fucking hillbilly/you God Damned Yankee” – escalated into a verbal food fight concerning the relative merits of grits VS breakfast potatoes and Polish sausage VS ‘possum. The last line that I heard, apparently from the northern driver was:
“How’s it work when you get a divorce down South. Are you still considered brother and sister?”
Just outside Little Rock, Arkansas on I-40, I heard a driver ask where in the hell he was. He concluded with:
“I think I’m between lost and found right now.”
Enough for now.