Even the most seasoned driver can be caught out by mother nature.
By Anonymous. ILLUSTRATION STEVE SHAW.
One of the things you’re going to have to deal with when driving lorries, at some point or another, is being caught short. Often we can be miles from the nearest toilet facility, and that can have potentially disastrous consequences. It really doesn’t explain why so many people pee down the side of their trailer at motorway services when there are actual toilets mere seconds away, or fling worrying looking bottles of yellow liquid at the roadside instead of disposing of things properly – but that’s another story.
I always tell friends who take road trips in the summer to avoid pulling into laybys which can accommodate lorries, as they will almost certainly not smell nice at all. The fact is, if you’re behind the wheel for most of the week, you’re going to accumulate a few stories which will not make for good conversation material in front of the in-laws over dinner, but equally could be found hysterical by your mates down the pub. Toilet humour, eh?
Anyway, most drivers, be they day men or trampers, will develop, over time, a comprehensive kit bag containing everything they could need: tea, coffee, flask, kettle, food, pain killers, spare clothing etc. That’s all well and good, but many drivers will tell you the most important components of all are baby wipes and/or toilet roll. You can forget the rest, but if the worst case scenario comes to bear, those two items are the difference between a tolerable resolution and an utter disaster.
Most drivers tend to avoid going “al fresco” when it comes to a “10-200” but then there are some who seem to make a habit of it and, dare I say, enjoy becoming one with nature? There was one guy at a company I worked for who was notorious for stopping in the same layby, just half an hour from his depot, to bear his buttocks underneath the trailer, either because he was so spectacularly regular that when he had to go, he had to go, or, as I suspect, he simply thought it was just the, er, job.
Imean, why put yourself through half an hour of minor discomfort when you could just pull into a handy layby? Thankfully for me, I was well warned about the desecrated layby – not that I ever needed to park in it. No-one wanted to park in it for fear of what was lurking there. It was just awful and lacking in consideration for other road users. In fact, I think it was the same guy who did once, on a double manned trunk, take advantage of a burst bag of edible produce on a pallet. The produce in question was, of all things, onions. He promptly took one and consumed it, raw, like an apple, boasting to his astonished co-driver how tasty the onion was, maybe somehow showing his manliness by consuming the eye-watering vegetable. It was so tasty it ran through him like a dose of salts, requiring an immediate and spectacular stop at yet another unfortunate layby, while the co-driver collapsed in fits of hysterics as matey boy groaned away. Eye watering in more ways than one.
Probably worst of all was a tipper driver I knew. We were running back and forth from a site in the middle of nowhere – it really was miles away from anything. “Big Joe” found himself in need of relief and decided the ideal private location to do his business was in the back of the tipper itself; reasonable logic, to be fair, but if quarry companies don’t like you dosing the box with red diesel when you get a load of tar, I’d hate to see what their opinion was on dosing the box with a turd when you get a load of aggregates. He clambered in, loo roll in hand, and proceeded to do what he had to do – it’s not known if he took a copy of The Sun with him to read.
The trucks were transporting wet sand and we had run with the sheet retracted to dry the box out on the return trip. Big Joe set off, but his box no longer contained mere sandy remnants. Also in there was a quite surprisingly large amount of used toilet paper. How do I know? Well, because when we were driving in convoy down the motorway, the wind caught it, lifted it out of the back and plastered it over the windscreen of a family travelling in a people carrier, with the poor, horrified driver operating his windscreen wipers at full tilt to remove it – sadly, to no effect. In fact, it probably just made matter worse.
Meanwhile, all those tipper drivers were in hysterics on the CB. Yes, yes I know, but when you’ve read a lot of VIZ comics over the years, this is the sort of level at which you find your humour. I can only assume he had to pull in and unpeel it manually. The moral of the story? Well, if there are any office workers reading this, you don’t know how lucky you are to have that beautiful clean toilet just yards away!