For some reason, I was in a prankish mood this past Tuesday. Hmmmmm -- I wonder if the fact that it was April Fool's Day had anything to do with that?? Anyway, since I firmly believe that the most effective way to deal with temptation is to simply give in to it, I did so. As long as it's relatively harmless, why not? My first victim was dispatch. I picked up my Qualcomm.
Dawg: Probably going to be 4-5 hours late with the load.
Dispatch: What's wrong?
Dawg: May not even make it there today, in fact.
Dispatch: What's the problem?
Dawg: I'm right on time, but my truck's running late. It's several hours behind me.
Dispatch: What you talking about?
Dawg: All the truck's clocks are slow. I think it overslept.
Dawg: I gotta get into the yard ASAP and get all the clocks reset.
Dispatch: Get that load there!!
Dawg: APRIL FOOL!!!
Dispatch: U want to go home this weekend, the load had better be there on time!!
Dawg: Yahwohl, Herr Commandant!!
I actually got the load there a couple of hours early, but it was fun while it lasted. A little later, I even pulled a mild prank on a friend, via cellphone. But the real killer came that afternoon, when I arrived at a shipper to pick up my next load. I outdid myself with this one, I'll tell you!! It was the performance of a lifetime, for me!!
I smiled as the idea popped into my head and that little red devil sitting on my shoulder was urging me, "Go on!! Do it!!" The little angel on my other shoulder was scolding me, "No!! Are you nuts?! You can't do that to a good customer!!" But it was a no-brainer, really, in the mood I'd been in all day. I chuckled, shrugged the little angel off his perch, and said, "Hell, why not??" The little devil grinned slyly at me. "Atta boy!!" So, I rehearsed my lines quickly, practiced for a minute or so, then went inside to check in. A young black lady was at the desk in the shipping office. After a moment, she came to the window, smiled, and greeted me. I took a deep breath and launched into my act.
I answered her greeting in fake foreign accent, acting like I didn't quite know how to say what I wanted to say, as if a little confused. Just like someone not that familiar with English would do. Then I proceeded to fumble around in heavily accented broken English, trying to get across to her that I was there to pick up a load. I pretended to be struggling mightily with the words, to make her understand me. And it was working great, as she quickly began looking very confused herself.
"Uh, you want to pick up a load, right??" she guessed.
"Ahh, ohhh, yassss. Zat ess vhat I vhant, yasss!" I replied, letting my eyes light up with the revelation. [I can't really come close to the accent I was faking on paper, so you'll just have to use your imagination here].
"Okay, sir. What company do you you drive for?"
"Aaaah -- cohmp-an-yee? Zat ess. . . how you say? Eet ess. . ."
You get the idea. And it went on like that for several minutes, with her asking questions and me fumbling for the right words. We wrangled for what seemed like an hour over the load number, which I kept repeating in such a heavy accent that she couldn't begin to understand what I was trying to say. I laid it on thicker and thicker as it went on. I had that poor girl so frustrated that I think she wanted to cry! Then she called another girl over and they were both soon going bananas trying to deal with the situation I had created!
It seemed to take another hour for them to get across to me what dock I was to put my empty trailer in and what dock my loaded one was in, but I finally granted them mercy and showed comprehension with what I was to do. The black girl handed me my bills to sign and with one last stroke of brilliance, I signed them "Yrral Dnalyaw," which is my real name, spelled out backwards. Just read each word from right to left, instead of the conventional way.
As I left the shipping office, I toyed with the idea of turning back and telling her, "April Fool!" But I had visions of her leaping through that window and strangling me to death, after what I'd put her through, and I chickened out. She would be within her rights to smack me for that one, and I can't say I wouldn't deserve it, really!! But it was fun as heck and I was still chuckling about it a day later. My aplogies go out to that unsuspecting young lady, if she should happen to read this, but it was all in fun and no real harm was done, so I'd hope she'd take it as it was intended.
But --hey!! Where's my Oscar nomination?? I think I deserve one, for that acting performance I gave. Does anyone agree??