09 November 2006

Doin' the Air Brake Dance...

Ok, I've had several of you ask, so back by popular demand is the Air Brake Dance.

Background: the airbrake dance, for any of you who have ever driven a big truck (or ridden in any commercial size vehicle where stopping whenever you want is not always an option) is the reaction you have to finally climbing out when you stop for a restroom break.

How it works: It may SEEM lengthy, but in all reality, it's just a few minutes. It's relative like anything else... if you really want it, it takes forever.

Part 1 - Drive 275 mi. Get the vague feeling you have to use the rest room. Next rest area 42 miles. You can make it.

Part 2 - Pass the rest area because you were yakking on the phone and saw the sign as you were in the hammer lane passing another truck in the granny lane goin' 55 mph and couldn't get back over without closing down the highway for several hours. Chew his ass out on the radio in Radio Rambo style for following posted speed limits and obeying the law.

Part 3 - Start to become uncomfortable in your clothes... stop drinking the 40 oz super size drink thinking that will help. Unbutton pants if necessary. (Hey, you're in the cab of a truck, who's gonna see you?)

Part 4 - Make it to the next rest area 35 miles up the road. Barely. Scootch back and forth in your seat, tap your foot reeeaaallllyy f***en fast because you KNOW that helps. Make sure to time the tapping with the braking so you don't inadvertantly run into the skateboard driver tightening his straps as you make a really wild swing into the only parking space between above flatbedder and an oversize that you barely make it around because your ass was too lazy to move the tandems up where they belong coz it rides much better when its all stretched out. (This may require rocking truck back and forth to maneuver around that THING sticking out of the oversize. Add swearing and bouncing up and down in your seat. Resist the urge to leave the truck halfway out in the lane and go in -- DOT doesn't like that and neither does that big ol' burly Billy BigRigger coming in behind you.)

Part 5 - Stop the truck at a 37 degree angle from parallel with the lines. That's as good as it gets. You're not feeling too bad... you can make it. Pull the Air Brakes. Try not to let the clutch out too fast before making sure you get the truck out of gear. Recline the seat back.

Part 6 - Pull yourself back up from having your seat reclined so your bladder doesn't explode, look around to see if anyone is watching. Pull shirt out over unbuttoned pants(don't unzip), or tie jacket around waist. (Try to include the pants in this as you DON'T want them falling down during the 7 mi hike to the restroom - I would think the trucks should be parked closer, but I digress.) Open the door.

Part 7 - After sitting back up from your head spinning and taking a couple deep breaths, pull yourself out of the truck. Now, a lot of drivers turn around and climb down backwards for safety reasons. If you can do this and still maintain bladder control, you ARE a supertrucker! Don't let your arms get too far apart; try to hop down the steps with both legs together. Trust me on this. Or just jump face first out of the truck. Either way, it's no less painful. Close and lock the door. Stand there looking at the truck for a few seconds while you collect yourself, breathing like you do right before you yak. Notice the yellow shade of your eyes in the side of truck. Turn around and start walking as quickly as you can taking 6 inch steps all the way up to the restroom area. Don't make eye contact with anyone. Breathe in, breathe out. You're doing fine.

Part 8 - Pass up the first door to the restroom because it's closed for cleaning. Swear silently and double-time it to the far end of the building where they have the second entrance. Fling open the door (CAREFUL NOT TO HIT THE OLD LADY STANDING BY THE DOOR WAITING ON THE 4 PEOPLE IN FRONT OF HER) *sigh loudly* Stand in line, try not to be too obvious by rocking back and forth, bouncing up and down or rubbing your belly. Remember: NO EYE CONTACT. Breathe. The restroom is clearing out. Try not to lift your shirt and start fumbling with your jeans on the way to the free stall.

Part 9 - Step into the open stall. THIS IS THE CRITICAL POINT. Do NOT turn around. Lean back on the door to close the door. You're almost there.

Part 10 - Unbutton/unzip your pants. Here's where it gets a bit tricky. With one hand brace yourself because you're about to get a pain in your bladder that equals the extraction of a wisdom tooth or a labor pain without drugs. With the other hand reach behind you and lock the stall door. You're setting yourself up for the final leap.

Part 11 - After the pain passes (it will - lamaze breathing is quite effective for this) start pulling your pants down WHILE crossing feet and turning around. Believe me, the crossing of the feet is necessary. Try not to smack your funny bone on the toilet paper holder that looks suspiciously close to empty. Ok, final round.

Part 12 - Back up to the toilet while pulling pants as far down as you can. Make sure you're in kind of a crouch as you're doing this. (The older folks know what I'm talkin' about.) Whip the pants out of the way(make sure you hook your thumbs in your underwear... you WILL NOT make it if you have to repeat the above) and fall onto the seat as you're already peeing. (Warned you to get into a crouch.) Commence to going for the next 43 seconds, removing jacket as the sweat starts to break out on your forehead and the hot flash begins. As you finish up, the hot flash will subside. Clean up and start to stand up. Sit back down and finish for the next 8 seconds. Swear you're never waiting that long again as you clean up and flush. Wash your hands, dry them. Try to fix your hair that is now frizzy from the sweat, and wipe your makeup off the sides of your face. (Usually the last step only applies to women, however we DO have some unique souls out there - whatever works for ya.) Exit restroom, buy 20 oz drink coz you're thirsty and head on out to the parking lot to try and figure out how the hell you're gonna pull out of that spot without taking somebody's hood off.

And that, my friends, is the air brake dance. Not to be attempted by the faint of heart, or weak of bladder.

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