Yep W5 and PJ, let's see what happens, as Life Goes On. What a Deal !
The next morning Dan and I entered the Senate Chambers. A huge room filled with stuffed shirts and designer dresses. Each of the Big Whigs had assigned desk that faced the Head Cheese. Of course, we were shuffled through and seated in a conference room. It was large and had a long table that seated about forty folks. Dan and I sat in front of our name tags.
Dan elbowed me, " They sure are formal around here and sure like to use those name tags a lot. "
I grinned, " They have to, or the Idiots would forget who they are ! "
Dan busted a gut, " That was a good on one ! Oh, I guess that end seat is for the Main Man. See, where that little hammer is ? "
I gawked, " Yeah, or maybe a midget carpenter is going sit there ! "
Dan rolled in his chair, " Your a Hoot Barney ! A real Hoot ! "
So, Dan and I, poked fun and yucked it up. You know, like a couple silly truck drivers do. Yep, all the pomp and circumstance was bit too much, for our liking. Anyway, the Movers and Shakers finally took their seats and the games began. The Gavel Guy gaveled and brought the meeting to order. He set the record straight and introduced the other Egg Heads. Well, while I was sitting there and taking it all in, She Man nudged me.
I turned and looked, " Oh, I didn't see you sitting there ! "
She Man was all business, " I just got here. Did I miss anything ? "
I brought her up to speed, " Uh, Gavel Guy gaveled the meeting to order and introduced everybody. Now, he was saying, something about this being a subcommittee and ...."
She Man explained, " It is ! See, the Senator delegates his authority to the Rules Committee and they formed the Fact Finding Committee, who in turn formed the Sub Committee, who requested that the DOT ...."
I rolled my eyes, " I get it ! It's like a hot potato and no one wants to .."
She Man defended the process, " Mr Goose ! Our government takes the safety of it's citizens extremely serious ! We want to hear from all of you that are tasked with moving our Nation forward. We've worked long and hard to improve the safety on our highways. It all began, back when the Federal Motor Carrier Commission was formed. That allowed for the Federal Codes and Regulations to be written and that in turn, has become the bible of the industry. Countless lives had been saved and with the addition of rules to enforce a drug free work place. Well, we're going to be able to force the States to police ..."
I'd heard enough, " Wait a minute ! That's the problem I have ! Now, I'm all for safer highways and agree there has to be rules followed. But, where does it end ? Back in 1973, I turned 21 and all you had to do back then was take a 14 question quiz, drive a mini bus, and pay an extra few bucks. Yep, back then a state chauffeur license was a CDL. I could drive anything on wheels back then. Well, except a motorcycle, but I already had that. So, I learned by the seat of my pants and thank God no one got killed. Then around 1989 that all changed. Yep, you had to pee in a cup and take a physical. By 1994 you had to pee in a cup, take a physical and the company had to do a 10 year background check. Now, ya'll are wanting all of that plus more ! "
She Man didn't get it, " So, what's your point ? "
I gave the look, " THE POINT IS ! THIS IS AMERICA ! We're not criminals and all we want to do is drive a rig ! Gees ! Since when are you guilty until proven innocent ? How can you force employers to become snitches for the State ? What the hell does getting a ticket in a four wheeler have to do with anything ? How can you lump pot smokers in with heroin addicts ? Why do you have a federally funded, private company keeping records on us ? Man ! I use thank God, that I lived in America. I heard all about the communist party and how they ruled. Well, let me tell you ! The way we're headed there's not going to be much difference. Yep, welcome to the good ole USSA ! It makes me sick and ya'll aren't through yet ! You still want more ! "
Dan yanked on my jacket, " Come on Barn settle down. "
So, I sat down and realized how quite the room was. Yep, I had gotten all lathered up and everything I said, was on the record. What a deal !
Gavel Guy gaveled, " Order ! Order ! Sgt of Arms ! Remove that man from these proceedings ! "
So, I was bum rushed out and Dan was too. No ! He hadn't said a word, but was laughing too loud.
I brushed myself off, " Gees ! All I said, was the truth ! "
Dan was still laughing, " They can't handle the truth ! #### Barn you done got us kicked out of there. What are we going to do ? "
So, Dan and I hit the closest bar and got drunker that skunks. I mean, why not. You know, no matter how hard you try. You can't save people from themselves. What a deal, as Life Goes On.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
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Yep W5IT, that green fella looks just like me. I see that Pjw044 and Big Duker are still with us, as Life Goes On. Snazzy points all around. Hiccup !
The flight back to Dallas aboard the company jet was somber. Yep, Dan and I were nursing our hangovers and Darline didn''t have much to say. Well, if she did there wasn't anybody to say it to. Now, I guess it was the jet lag, or it could of been something else. Anyway, it took me all weekend to recover and Monday morning came too soon. Yep, I was in my office and joined by Big Man, Pompous, and waiting for Dan.
Big Man sipped his coffee, " So, Barney ! What can you tell us ? "
I shrugged, " Well, not much ! From what I gather the Feds are revamping the whole works. Let's see, when this all goes into effect .."
Pompous ### jumped in, " Barney ! If they're just now making proposals it'll be years from now, before those laws will be on the books. "
Big Man concurred, " Yeah ! It took them from 1986, until 1989, to get Texas to pass the last ones. "
I sighed, " Well, I hope ya'll are right, because this is stuff is a real show stopper. See this ! That's just the new regulations and that other pile over there, is what they're wanting to change. Now, get this ! Their saying, that any State that doesn't pass these new laws will lose their Federal highway funds. They've got us by the balls ! "
Big Man grinned, " Oh Barney, your taking this too serious ! They always threaten to do that, but they never do. I don't see anything here to get too upset about. What about you Pompous ? "
Pompous paused, " Well, I need a little more input. Barney, can you give us a brief run down, of what exactly the new laws will consist of ? "
I gave the look, " Well first of all, their going to make it mandatory that some company. I think, it's probably going to be DAC Services. You know, that outfit that keeps records on company drivers. "
Big Man laughed, " We never check with them and the companies that do are Idiots ! That's the best way to get sued, that I know of. You can't go by something that a past employer has to say ! "
I agreed, " Yeah, your right, but that won't matter ! Yep, and get this ! You'll have to check through them, on every driver you hire. Their going to have a national clearing house, that can access every CDL holders driving record. I mean, every State will have to report any moving violations to them and that's not all ! It's going to include four wheeler violations ! Yep, some poor driver gets cited for a serious infraction and goodbye Johnny. "
Pompous ### chuckled, " It'll never happen ! "
I wasn't so sure, " I hope, that day never comes ! But, theres more ! Yep, you'll have to report any drug test that are failed or refused. Yep, some slob that turns in a dirty sample, might as well kiss his career farewell. There won't be anymore fail a test and hire on somewhere else. "
Big Man started sweating, " Now, that could be a problem ! I bet, half the drivers we hire, have failed a drug test sometime in their past. Now, even we terminate drivers for that. But, we don't report that anywhere and if another company ask. Well, we don't even mention it. "
I got his attention, " There's going to be a $ 5,000 fine, for each time a company fails to report that, or hires a driver that ...."
Pompous stepped on my tongue, " Your crazy ! That's a violation of civil rights and the government.... "
I stood up, " THEY CAN DO IT ! Listen to me ! The only civil rights you have, are the ones that the government says you have ! Now, the way they look at it is simple. You don't have a right to drive, it's a privilege ! They can do anything they want ! "
Big Man wiped his forehead, " What else ? "
I thought about it, " I guess, the worst part is this. Say a driver refuses to test, or fails a test, or gets popped for DUI, or DWI, or whatever. Yep, he'll lose his CDL for at least a year. Ok, I can see that ! But ! He'll have to see a SAP and ..."
Pompous had to ask, " A what ? "
I explained, " A SAP ! A Substance Abuse Councilor ! They'll have to decide how much treatment the driver needs. Yep, before you can put that driver back behind the wheel..."
Big Man had a panic attack, " We'll have to pay for their treatment ? "
I rolled my eyes, " No ! The poor slob that just lost his job does ! The company just can't use him, until some head shaker decides that he, or her has jumped through all the hoops ! It's nuts ! "
Pompous snickered, " Your pulling our leg ! Barney your a Hoot ! "
I swore, " I swear, that this is all true and it's down right scary ! I mean, Big Brother is here ! Orson Wells, couldn't make this crap up ! The thing that makes me the maddest is this. Let's say that the MRO..."
Big Man mouthed, " A what ? "
I drew a picture, " An MRO is a Medical Review Officer. They have to be a Medical Doctor and approved by the Medical Association. Anyway, all they will be allowed to do, is decide one thing. Yep, if the test results are right and there is no other explanation. "
Pompous grinned, " No way ! How can small companies afford ..."
I was wound up, " TPR ! That stands for Third Party Consortium ! See, those smaller outfits and owner operators. Well, they'll have to pool together and pay an outside company to..."
Big Man stood up, " How about us ? Are we going to have to .."
I wasn't sure, " I think, we'll be able to do all of this in-house. But, if this does go into effect. Well, it looks like there could be a big problem. "
Pompous read my mind, " Snitches ! Don't tell me ! They'll have a whistle blower reward to pay off RATS ! "
I couldn't of said it better, " Exactly ! Yep, this is all geared to screw every company, driver, and owner-op out here ! The only ones that get a thing out of it is the Medical Profession, Substance Abuse Councilors, and the Private Company that does the license checks. Yep, when Uncle Sam decides to keep us safe. Well, bend over and spread your cheeks ! "
So, I was bent over and spreading my buns when Dan walked in.
Dan looked scared, " I'll come back later ! "
I stood up, " It's alright Dan ! I was just going over the new rules. "
Dan laughed, " Your a Hoot Barney ! A real Hoot ! "
So, we all sat around and cussed the proposed regulations. Yep, we all knew, that they were years away from becoming law. But hey, just the thought of private companies and private citizens becoming government agents. Well, you know what I mean, as Life Goes on.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
Wow, Snazzy takes a day off and this thread gets buried three pages back.
So heres the /bump to send it back up front.
Now someone /bump Snazzy to get back to writing, or Im gonna have to actually spend time with the girlfriend when im home (which the wife would get really pissed about).
First, a Big Snazzy welcome to Sweat6413, who humped his girlfriend, err.., bumped our thread back on top. Nope Big Duker, so far none of my family knows of these writings. It's scary to think what ... Well, you know what I mean. Now, for the reason I hadn't posted. I'm in the process of researching a scheme. Well, not a scheme exactly. It's an idea, that I've had in the back of my mind, for several years. If successful, all of you Snazzers will be the first to learn of it. Well, besides me, my attorney, the DOT, the Texas State Comptroller, the County Records Clerk, my bank, the insurance company, my brother-law, my sister, the woman who rented me the PO Box, the lady that works at the convenient store, my goats, and a few others. Yep, stay tuned and you'll learn all about it, as Life Goes On.
Well, I'll post this and come back. Now, please don't inquire about the above mentioned scheme, err..., future business. It's all in the infant stages right now and may never take flight. Yep, I need to do a little more research and some intensive soul searching. Well, you know what I mean. What a Deal ! Anyway, this isn't nightie night; it's I'll be right back, your Snazzy1.
Your safe Pjw044, as Snazzers we all live by the Snazzy code. Do into others, before they do into you. No ! That's not right ! It's three can keep a secret, if two are dead. No ! It's something, like all for one and one for all ! Nope ! That's the Three Musket Ears. It's ??? The Hell if I know, as Life Goes On.
Darline had on her purple bikini, Dan had the wheel, and I played bartender. Yep, it was the River Queen's maiden voyage. Let's see, half of Dallas was on board, all of the marina, and anyone else that was able to find a place to stand. Yep, we was elbow to ### hole. I had one of Darline's CDs blasting over the PA system and she sure could sing. The seas were a bit choppy and there was still a hint of spring in the air. But hey ! The sun felt good and the sky was clear. I mean, what more could you ask for ?
Dan staggered over, " Hey Barn ! Let me get another rum and coke ! "
I had to ask, " Whose driving ? "
Dan grinned, " My wife is ! Well, she's learning how ! "
I mixed the drink, " Here Dan ! Now, do me a favor. Those fools on the top deck need to settle down. Their making us sway too much and someone might fall overboard. "
Dan took a swig, " I don't know them ! They won't listen to me ! Why don't you go up there ? "
I explained, " Your the Captain ! Remember ? You agreed to be responsible and I didn't want to leave the dock anyway ! "
Dan remembered, " Alright ! I'll go up there, but don't blame me if...."
I felt it, " What was that ? "
Dan guessed, " Maybe, it was a rogue wave ? "
I turned the music down, " Why is everyone screaming ? "
So, Dan and I both went to investigate.
Dan yelled, " WE'VE RUN A GROUND ! MAN THE LIFE BOATS ! "
I tried not to panic, " Dan ! Don't get everyone all worked up. Let's go and check with your wife. "
Dan led the way, " Honey ! What happened "
She started in, " I don't know what happened ! Everything was going fine and then those guys in the boat..."
I had to ask, " What boat ? "
She pointed, " The ones that hit us. See, they cut in front of me and I tried to ..."
I panicked, " Gosh All Mighty ! She ran over somebody ! Dan ! Stop the engines and ........"
Dan yanked the lever, " Get up Honey ! I'll put her in reverse and go back. "
I thought about it, " Wait Dan ! "
Yep, it was too late. I heard the screams of horror and could only imagine the gore. You know, two steel propellers grinding up human flesh and blood gushing. Oh, the humanity of it ! Well, Dan managed to elbow his way back and tossed a life saver over. No ! Not a candy life saver ! You know, one of them donut kind, that float and has a rope attached. The first surviver was flopped on the deck and then the second.
Mr Hook spit out water, " #### Barney ! Are you trying to kill us ? "
I patted his back, " I'm sorry ! Now, take deep breaths and ..."
Ed foamed at the mouth, " Hell ! You didn't see us ? We circled you twice, but you wouldn't stop ! Your lucky we're both not dead ! "
Dan took the blame, " It's my fault ! I let my wife drive and..."
Mr Hook had heard enough, " YOU DON"T DRIVE A BOAT ! Gees ! Let me get down there, before you Idiots do kill somebody ! "
So, Mr Hook stomped away, as Ed dried himself. Dan and some of the others managed to secure the dingy. Well, what was left of it. Yep, that thing had been cut in half and the outboard was somewhere on the lake's bottom. What a deal !
Ed nose pointed, " Can we go down stairs and talk in private ? "
I shut the door, " Gees, I'm sorry Ed ! Are you sure that your alright ? "
Ed was Ed, " I'm ok ! Now, listen to me ! "
So, I sat and listened. Yep, what Ed had to say, was so startling, earth shattering, unbelievable, totally incredible, that, that, .. Well, you'll have to tune in tomorrow. Same Snazzy channel, at the same Snazzy time, as Life Goes On. What a deal ! "
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
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