By Mel McConaghy
Years ago, just before I retired, Ron Graham and I had left Abbotsford with our usual load of groceries.
We were on a run headed back to Prince George, where we would switch and pass our loads on to other trucks, that would then deliver them to Fort St. John and Grand Prairie stores.
We left the warehouse just after 3:00 p.m., and were trucking north through the circus of idiots on the freeway, when I called Ron on the VHF radio. We had agreed to run on an obscure channel, so that we could talk and not interfere with anyone else, and it also allowed us a certain amount of privacy.
Instead of discussing what we were going to do to retire, we were old road warriors rambling on endlessly. For hours we talked about the usual things, like trucks, trucking, the job. You know, all the things that guys talk about on the road. Ron wanted to talk about chasing women, but at my age that was out of the question. Me chasing women, would be like an old dog chasing cars. What would I do if I caught one, gum the tires? It was just as well, because I think that the wife put some kind of spell on me, so that if I get too involved in thinking about other women, my gout flairs up.
Around Buffalo corner, at mile 128, just north of Lac La Hache, the sun was starting to set over the rolling hills of the Caribou cattle country. We were starting to run a little short of things to talk about, having discussed just about everything we could think about except when we would retire, and having solved most of the world’s problems. At that point it didn’t matter, because we looking at a beautiful sun setting in a clear blue sky. I said to Ron, “Look at that sky! Have you ever thought, where does it all end? They say it doesn’t, and even if it did, what would be on the other side?”
This triggered a conversation about infinity, and about what if our universe was just a microorganism on the body of a giant being, and all sorts of science-fiction ideas. ‘Oh my God,’ I thought, ‘what if someone just happened to scan in on our channel, what would they be thinking? “Have I come up on a couple of philosophers, physicists contemplating the universe, or a couple of loonies?”, or, “Should a couple of boys ask ‘is it time retire’?”.
Now, Ron is a fairly well educated young man, with a good head on his shoulders, but I am a grade eight dropout, with way too many miles on me, and here we are, driving down the road discussing the Universe. Over the years I have heard lots of weird conversations on the radio, but never one this deep, or stupid, depending how well educated you are.
I was thinking that Ron just might be in the wrong business, and that maybe I’m starting to lose it, which got me wondering. ‘Is it finally time for me to retire?’
My Life Through a Broken Windshield by Mel McConaghy
Mel McConaghy is a retired trucker and author from Prince George, British Columbia. Mel’s tales are his views of life “through a broken windshield”. They are entertaining and humorous in a folksy style.
Visit Mel’s website at www.melmcconaghy.com