Some church folks told me one time, "Our Pastor has the cleanest feet of anyone around. He is always putting his feet in his mouth."
I resemble that remark.
Driving a 48,000 lb, 60 foot long rig (BoggsMobile And Green Machine) for many miles and many hours during the holiday season gives me a chance to examine human nature at its best. It is kind of like going to a big city Walmart on Black Friday with 5,000 of your closest friends; all of them trying to grab one of six 72" wide screen TV's for $19.99!
Here was a peaceful moment before daylight in west Texas.
That moment lasted about two hours and then burst into pieces as I neared the Odessa area at 5:00 AM which is evidently oil rig rush hour. No pictures of that. I was hanging on for dear life.
You know what an interstate on-ramp is, right? It is the road that brings you onto the interstate.
You know how it works, right? The idea of the on-ramp is to give a car time to get up to the same speed as the traffic already on the interstate so that the car can merge seamlessly into traffic without causing a major slowdown or accident.
We do not enter interstates from a dead stop at a stop sign for a reason. Also the traffic on the interstate does not stop or even yield to traffic entering from the on-ramp for a reason. The reason is so that interstates keep moving and do not become your average clogged city street.
Interstates limit access to certain points of entry. Those entry points are designed (For the most part) to keep traffic moving at or near the speed limit.
Do you know how many times I have been honked at, waved at and threatened the last 1200 miles by people trying to merge into the side of the bus from the on-ramp? It happened over and over!
This is the scenario. I am going the speed limit with traffic in the lane to my left. Suddenly the guy on the ramp going 45 MPH is mad because I do not hit my brakes hard and slow down to 40 MPH to compensate for his lack of driving excellence.
I know my rig is 60' long. Out of kindness I do move over a lane to my left when I am able. But if that lane is blocked, I am not supposed to drop to 40 MPH and cause everyone behind me to do the same. I does not work that way.
I placed my foot firmly in my mouth trying to explain this once.
We were riding with some friends that I will call Mr. and Mrs. Smith. We were merging onto a HWY when the car in front of us suddenly slammed on its brakes and stopped completely on the ramp. The driver was frustrated because the cars would not let him in although he was not driving near fast enough to merge.
Mr. Smith swerved around the stopped car and managed to merge just fine. All was well until I opened my big mouth.
I said, "Stopping like that on the ramp is what gets people killed!"
There was no response to my comment. There was no response at all. The sound of crickets was all I could hear and the silence was matched only by the uncomfortable feeling that enveloped the car.
I found out the reason for the silence when we arrived back at our RV.
My wife had been out earlier that day with Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith was merging on that same HWY from the same ramp and stopped exactly like the car in front of us did.
As she was stopped she said to Kelly Jo, "My husband tells me I am going to get somebody killed by stopping like this but it is the only way I can do it!"
No wonder it was so quiet in the car when I said the same thing Mr. Smith told his wife. He was sure his wife thought he had griped about her. Mrs. Smith was sure KJ had told me their conversation and that I was probably being sarcastic.
Kelly Jo was uncomfortable because she knew I did not have a clue and she was trying not to laugh her head off!
I was Mr. Oblivious with my foot planted firmly in my mouth!
Be careful when merging or even talking about merging!