Truck Stop Christmas

Written by Tom Hale

Continued from page 1

She said she hoped I wasn't too disappointed about her not bein my mother, and I said, "Naw, I figured as much since I was only four years old when my mama started workin at a Truck Stop." I told her about a driverless truck that had passed me a few miles back: it was goin 90 miles an hour. I didn't think much about it atrepparttar time—that's what too much Night Train'll do to a man—but, after hearin her story, I got a case ofrepparttar 118133 hee-bee-gee-beez like you wouldn believe. I leaned acrossrepparttar 118134 counter and held onto her tired old hand. I said, "Ma'am, you may not be my mother, but I'll bet you five dollars againstrepparttar 118135 price ofrepparttar 118136 pie and coffee that you can't name all 8 reindeer."

She started to cry and said this wasrepparttar 118137 first time in ten years that Christmas had any meanin for her—she hadn even bothered to put up any decorations. Now that it felt like Christmas, and she knew it would be her last one, all she wished for inrepparttar 118138 whole wide world was somethin to make it look like Christmas. Well, it just so happened that I was haulin a hot load of cheap, plastic Nativity scenes to Chicago for an eleventh-hour trainload sale. I made up my mind right then an' there that this old woman was gonna have one of 'em if it drove every dime store in Chi Town out of business. I said, "You wait right here, Ma'am; this is gonna berepparttar 118139 best Christmas you ever had!" Well...that's when I woke up. [military-drums-in-the-distance]

I woke up in a foxhole...about 15 miles from White Sands Missile Range. The First Sergeant was shakin me. When I looked up at him, there was a look of curiosity and concern inrepparttar 118140 narrow eyes that so resembled elongated lug nuts, chiseled intorepparttar 118141 weather-beaten leather that was his face—two eyes, one on either side of his nose. He told me that I'd been yellin in my sleep, somethin 'bout drivin a truck.

I said, "But, Sarge! I am a Truck Driver!" The curiosity and concern melted into a combination of compassion and sarcasm—with just a touch of amused weariness. He said, "Son, you are not a Truck Driver, for you see, that would be impossible." "Why do you say that, Sarge?" "For two reasons," Sarge said: "One, you are a chimpanzee. Two, you don't even have a driver's license."

Well, I thought about that for a moment. My disappointment turned to resignation. I quietly asked Sarge, "If…if I'm not a Truck Driver, then what am I?"

Sarge said, “Speak up, son, I can’t hear you.”

So I says out loud, I says, “If…if I’m not a Truck Driver, then what am I?”

He said, "You are an Astronaut. You just got back from a 5-year trip aroundrepparttar 118142 Planet, Pluto. I don't know what happened to you up there, but I do know this: you are not a Truck Driver." I sat there, chewin on that one for a good long while. Sarge poured us both some coffee. The long silence was broken when I said, "Sarge, what month is this?" He told me it was August. "Well," I said, liftin my cup, "Feliz Nuevo Año, Sarge."

Sarge grinned, and raised his cup. "Happy Halloween, Kid." I poured coffee all downrepparttar 118143 front of my flight suit—that's what too much weightlessness'll do to a man.


It was a Truck Stop Christmas With magic inrepparttar 118144 air; It wasrepparttar 118145 nightmare of a monkey, And a Mother's answered prayer. A mystery, a miracle, We'll never understan; But it's notarized and witnessed By a Truck Drivin Man... A Truck Drivin Maa-aan. Wah-ooo.

In God’s Trombones, James Weldon Johnson tells of an old-time preacher who announces, “Brothers and sisters, this morning—I intend to explain the unexplainable—find out the undefinable—ponder over the imponderable—and unscrew the inscrutable.” This author seeks to do all that, plus take it a step further and eff the ineffable. Tom Hale is a featured author at


Written by Theolonius McTavish

Continued from page 1

But, times have changed. Four years ago,repparttar World Toilet Organization, (comprised of 17 toilet associations, althoughrepparttar 118132 US, one ofrepparttar 118133 most fastidious and hygiene conscious countries inrepparttar 118134 world has not signed on yet), decided to recognize and honorrepparttar 118135 'great equalizer of humanity' with it's own day of remembrance - November 19th -- "World Toilet Day".

This year, November 17-19, in Beijing, China decision-makers not to mention movers and shakers from aroundrepparttar 118136 globe will be gathering to discuss "hot" topics inrepparttar 118137 world of tinkle pantries (see one ofrepparttar 118138 41,900 website pages devoted to this world summit conference --

This year's "World Toilet Summit" conference will include among other presentations:

-- The Toilet - A Tool of Social Change -- The Horizontal Society -- Toilets as Tourism Attraction -- Start-Up of a Toilet Association -- Generating Revenue Through Advertisements in Good Toilets -- Howrepparttar 118139 Loo ofrepparttar 118140 Year Awards Translates Good Toilets as Marketing Tools for their Owners -- Dry Toilets, Natural Toilets, Mobile Toilets, and Humanized Toilets -- The Interior Design of a Toilet Caters torepparttar 118141 Diversity of a Culture -- The Provision & Availability of Toilets in Establishingrepparttar 118142 Code of Practice for Toilets -- Isrepparttar 118143 Provision of Good Toilets Critical in Hosting World Events?

So, if you're looking for something to do on November 19th...why not whip out your favorite plonger, a trip to your favorite plumbing and hardware store, ...or maybe check outrepparttar 118144 world's first "National Toilet Map" published byrepparttar 118145 Australian Government at

Theolonius McTavish, an eccentric reporter and visitor to throne rooms of renown and off-the-beaten track places of ease when not thoroughly ensconced in the palace of the "Quipping Queen" at

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