Hi everybody!

I see a lot of weird stuff in the news lately about Death Panels and Death Books. I don’t know a lot about those but they sound bad. However, I know a lot about Death Trucks because I see them on the freeway every day. The Death Trucks must have the same schedule as I because the same ones always show up. They are:

THE MOLTEN SULFUR TRUCK. These may come from Hell. They are en route from south to north, anyway. I see at least one every day. I don’t know who uses entire tanker truckloads of molten sulfur but I don’t want to work there. I also don’t like being right next to that truck. I figure a molten sulfur truck crash would be final in an unpleasant way.

THE ODORLESS PRESSURIZED NATURAL GAS TRUCK. You know the gas in the stove? When it leaks you smell it which means you can run like hell and call the fire department before you are 1) asphyxiated or 2) blasted into liverwurst or 3) both. This truck has a truck-sized cylinder of the stuff, at high pressure, without the smelly stuff. So I’ll be clueless and/or asphyxiated and/or liverwurst all at once when the small hole in the cylinder is going FSSSSHT and I’m behind it.

THE VERY HOT ASPHALT TRUCK. It looks like the other two but with a sign indicating that it’s entirely full of the street, except the street when it’s 1000 degrees and bubbly. I have a vivid imagination and I immediately close my window when I see the Very Hot Asphalt Truck. I don’t want to be the street.

THE STAKE BED TRUCK WITH POISON CYLINDERS. This is your basic big pickup with a wooden stake bed in it, driven by tired and beery working men. There is all kinds of pump and spray and goop splatter equipment in the back, and then there are ten or so big gas cylinders which are PRETTY MUCH secured with chains. The truck and the cylinders are all marked with skulls and crossbones, or the hand with the caustic substance burning it, and the fire symbol, and maybe a devil’s head. The guys in the truck are beyond caring. You know, if a cylinder like that falls over and breaks its valve, it becomes a high speed doom torpedo spraying poison out the back. That would rule!

THE TRUCK WITH THE BIG SHARP HEAVY BUT BOUNCY ITEM ON IT. You know this one. It’s a flat bed with a huge metal item on it. The item is pointy and protrudes from the back of the truck a few feet, and is thick and heavy also. It usually looks like a poorly sharpened rail for a train. It bumps up and down cheerfully in the back of the truck, straining at the slender chains and ropes that are draped lightly on it. It’s almost always at eye level.

and last but not least

THE AMATEUR MOVING TRUCK. You know how old WW II ships on the History Channel try to blow up submarines? They have this thing on the back of the ship that dumps oil barrel sized bombs every half second or so, so they burble down into the water and blow up and mess up the submarine. These do that with sofas.

And that’s my death trucks.

30 thoughts on “DEATH TRUCKS.

  1. I know a guy who was hit by a VERY HOT ASPHALT TRUCK. The VERY HOT ASPHALT poured into the car and burnt him all over, necessitating VERY MANY SURGERIES and a VERY LARGE LAWSUIT. He used the VERY CONSIDERABLE PAYOUT to build an EXTREMELY LARGE CLASSIC MACINTOSH COLLECTION.
    This is a true story and you are right to be afraid.


  2. The ending of that story seems kind of sad to me. But maybe I am just ignorant of classic macintoshes.
    This entry, on the other hand, is the best thing I have read on LJ for many, many moons. Thank you for writing it. I feel like I have a field guide to the 880 now, though luckily not for the 580, which does not allow trucks. Well, it would allow some of these smaller death trucks.


    1. 880 also had a *literal* death truck which was that coffin company truck which had a sign on it with some irony about what would happen if you fail to drive carefully around trucks, if I recall correctly.


  3. What, you don’t get the radioactive waste trucks in your neck of the woods? And those enormous cylinder trucks are death on a stick, too: they could have milk in them and still be very ominous.
    This post is awesome. I laughed so hard, I woke up the cat. I don’t want to be street, either.


    1. In a way milk trucks are the scariest cylinder trucks. Other liquid carriers generally have baffles in them to stop the fluid from surging around demonstrating newtonian physics calamitously. Milk haulers don’t have baffles because it makes it impossible to completely sterilize the inside.


  4. My great uncle drove long-haul trucks. His last shipment was of long heavy metal pipes which ended up going through him at an unexpected stop. I have a great fear of Things On Trucks since then. Except ice cream trucks. =)


    1. I have a fear of ice cream trucks because the last neighborhood I was in, our local ice cream truck would show up in the middle of the night, stay on for hours, and then be followed by gunshots.


    2. My ex had a family member go in a related way – he was driving a car behind a truck with a bed full of large uncut tree logs. One came loose and flew backwards into the car… ugh. To this day I am still nervous being behind Trucks Carrying Objects That Might Not Be Secure.


  5. Unfortunately, I bet that these guys have a safety record that starts to approach infinity when compared with the real menace – the 17 year old with 3 friends in the car and a cell phone.


  6. also logging trucks and trucks carrying pipe
    also amateur or smallish trucks that have pipe or 2 by 4s delicately secured to the top of their rigs
    oh yes, and u-hauls
    but of course when youre on a bike all trucks are death trucks…..


  7. Death trucks are among the many things that cause me to discourage from getting a motorcycle.
    The ones that scare me most are the small pick-up trucks with surfboards set in the bed so that the tail of the board is on the floor up near the cab and the point of the board is propped up on the hatch. More often than not, the surfer dude driving has not secured the board in any way, and the board is aimed right at my head. One unexpected bump, and I’m going to be sushi, and with all the pot-smoke billowing out of the cab, I don’t have much faith in surfer dude’s ability to avoid road hazards.


  8. Yum!
    A good friend lived on the linear asymptote of a startlingly acute curve in the railroad tracks, and would sit on his back porch, 40 feet from the tracks, watching the trains rattle along the curve with their inner wheels kinda bouncing up off the rails. This was never as thrilling as when the huge tank cars labeled EDIBLE TALLOW thundered around that bend.


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