his name is Earl
(originally posted 3/23/2019)
Before there was Twitter and Snapchat there was the CB (Citizen’s Band) radio. Watch any movie made in the 70’s and 80’s that involved a trucker and I guarantee you that at some point you’ll hear his CB in the background spewing some colorful lingo. Lingo such as “Bear In the Grass” (a police officer at a speed trap), “Bear In the Air” (a police officer in a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft), or “Does a Bear Shit In the Woods?” (used when the answer to a question is obviously “yes”).
That last definition provided by Google. The same Google that defines “bear” as a term used by gay men to describe a large husky man with a lot of body hair. So are they asking “Does a large husky man with a lot of body hair shit in the woods?” That answer does not seem as obvious. If Google had been around in the 70’s and 80’ I’m guessing a lot of the movies would have been a lot more confusing.
All of which is my clumsy way of introducing you to Earl.
Earl is a long-haul trucker.
Honestly, thanks to Google, I’ve forgotten most of what I was going to say about Earl. I’ll try my best to pick up my train (not truck?) of thought and press onward.
I don’t have to describe him because once you read ‘long-haul trucker’ you have already pictured him and nothing I can say will sway you from that image.
I can respect that and it makes my job much easier.
He has been married and divorced twice. Like many truckers he has a mistress called the road.
A road that has led to Tonya (Memphis), Mona (Austin) and Carol (Portland) among many others. So really the open road is his mistress… along with a lot of actual women.
He, as expected, buys all of his hats from convenience stores.
He firmly believes, not as expected, that Japanese babies cry in Japanese. He has spent many an hour debating the validity of this belief on his CB radio.
He stopped naming the dogs he travels with Lucky because they never end up that way due to the fact that truckstops include not only trucks that are stopped but trucks that are not as stopped and as soon as he christened a new dog Lucky they quickly met one of the not-as-stopped trucks, ending up not lucky at all. His last dog, named Not Lucky, has been with him for a few years now and has avoided getting squished quite nicely.
He has a lot of time to think and he has used that time to write of some of the worst screenplays ever penned. And that’s coming from me, someone who has written some of the worst books ever penned.
To give you an example, his movie treatment Indian Summer Vacation is about a bunch of geeky high schoolers on an Apache reservation who attend a summer camp and develop a rivalry with the camp of wealthy white kids across the lake.
There is plenty of romance, hijinx and tomfoolery, some of the more awkward moments pulled directly from Earl’s own experiences at summer camp as a teenager.
It ends with the white kids murdering all of the Indian kids and burning their camp to the ground.
Another one begins with a close-up on a hard-boiled detective screaming at the top of his lungs… presumably because he’s being immersed in boiling water.
He records all of his ideas for movies on a little recorder as he drives and then sifts through his various recordings at the end of every day, jotting down the good bits for later use. Not Lucky thinks he is talking to him the whole time so he wags his tail the whole time.
He remains persona non grata at the North Forty Truck Stop in Holladay, Tennessee for wiping off the last three letters on the restaurant whiteboard announcing “We Love Muffins.”
A lot of men try trucking but leave the profession because it’s a lonely lifestyle. That has never bothered Earl. He knows people in almost every town after all the years of driving and he always has his CB radio if he feels the need to talk to somebody. (Sort of makes you want to buy a CB radio doesn’t it?)
People who use CB radios have ‘handles’. Google defines a handle as a “nickname given or adopted by a CB radio user.” Google the list of funny handles, it’s definitely worth your time.
Earl’s handle is Earl.