TruckSuds – a truckin’ soap opera
It got a little lively around here last week. Clarissa had gotten herself kinda settled in lookin’ after my sister, Flora, and her lil’ cat that had a broken wrist too. She refused to let my sis pay her for the help, though, ’cause she said Flora was giving her room and board an’ she wasn’t gonna take money on top of that.
That Clarissa is good people, I tell you.
Well, anyways, I was putterin’ around the truckstop, sloshin’ water an’ suds to kinda clean up outside around the trash barrels when I saw three bikers startin’ to pull off the highway an’ come on in. Wouldn’t thought anythin’ ’bout it ‘cept I got a funny feelin’ an’ the hair on the back of my neck started to stand up. I got my phone out of my pocket and speed-dialed Big Pete, to get him out of his office an’ up to the fuel desk to kinda keep an eye on things.
They gunned their bikes as they pulled into two parking spaces, parkin’ their bikes crossways on the dividing line an’ takin’ up as much room as they could. Lucky we weren’t real busy right then, but it kinda irritated me.
The biggest biker seen me watchin’ ’em, an’ he laughs kinda nasty an hollers, “It’s okay, Pops. We’re not gonna be here very long.” Then he said somethin’ to the two low-lifes with him, and they all snickered. Now, I don’t mind bikers. Most of ’em is just like truckers; there’s good ones an’ very few bad ones, but the bad ones really stink, y’know?
So the three of ’em started into the lil’ store next to the truckstop when wouldn’t you know it, here comes Clarissa. Now, she’s a pretty young lady, but no tramp, you know what I mean? But that scum just stood there an’ looked her up an’ down an’ wolf-whistled and cat-called ‘til I was ashamed of them even being called human.
Then the one that’d called me ‘Pops’ swaggered over to Clarissa an’ put his arm around her waist afore she could move away an’ smirks, “How’d you like to be my new biker babe, sweet thing?”
That done it. “Get your greasy paws off of her, you dirty dog!” I hollered, an’ started towards him. Clarissa was tryin’ to get away from him now, but he was holdin’ her against his chest so tight she could hardly breathe.
“Listen, you ______-_______ old fool, this ain’t none of your business. My business is with Clarissa here.”
That stunned me. How’d he know her name? But I took a deep breath an’ raised up my push broom. “Turn her loose!”
“She’s mine!” he bellowed. “Won her in a poker game two nights ago an’ been lookin’ for her ever since.” Clarissa turned white at that, an’ I realized the junkyard dog trucker had found a way to stalk the poor girl.
Big Pete ambled up then with his Louisville Slugger, just casually swingin’ it as he walked. “What’s goin’ on, Miles?” Now, Big Pete stands well over six and a half feet with 230 pounds of solid muscle on him. He was a sergeant in the Marines, an’ nobody in their right mind messes with Big Pete.
‘Cept these coyotes weren’t in their right minds. The two other scumbags pulled guns on Big Pete an’ held him in their crossfire.
Big Pete laughed. “Oh, I’m scared,” he mocked ’em. “Just shakin’ in my boots.”
Then someone cleared their throat behind me, an’ I hear the most welcome voice of Trooper Snakes. “Hello, Lefty,” he said, real casual. “Heard you were out of prison – for a while. You do know a convicted felon isn’t supposed to carry a weapon, right?”
The scumbag to my right turned a little green around the gills. But then the coward said, “Yeah, but I got the drop on the Michelin Man here. An’ you make a move toward me an’ I shoot the ugly s.o.b.” A big paw reached over the scrawny scumbag’s shoulder an’ wrenched the gun away.
“Don’t make the trooper mad,” B.A. Grouseman said pleasantly. “He’s a terror when he loses his temper.”
A sudden sharp crack! Made ever’body but Officer Snakes jump, an’ the other sewer rat yelped an’ held his hand, which was bleedin’ and didn’t have no gun in it anymore. A Bay State trucker named Frank calmly flipped his bullwhip an’ caught the weapon in his hand. “Want it back?” he asked, and smiled at the sewer rat.
Now all of us were starin’ at the leader, who’d loosened his grip on Clarissa a little, an’ she’d got away from him. “This ain’t nobody else’s business. She belongs to me now.”
Two squad cars gently eased into the parking lot. The leader whirled an’ tried to run past me to get to his bike, but I tripped him with my broom, an’ he fell over his own feet.
Well, like I said, things get lively around here ever so often. I’ll fill you in on a couple more things next week. ’Til then, keep it between the ditches, gear jammers. Miles signin’ off.