Rolling Resistance

Last week I drove a thirty-four foot long rented truck filled with most of my worldly possessions, roughly from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I say roughly for four reasons. The first being that since I was coming from the Los Angeles area, but not the city itself, and where I was going was in the Bay Area, but not in the city of San Francisco itself, I was strictly speaking not making the journey I stated but roughly speaking I was. The second reason is that the vehicle I was piloting drove, well, like a truck. The third is that being that I was driving a truck, I was compelled to stay in the right hand lane, and probably because of all the truck traffic it gets, the right hand lane is in the worst condition of all the lanes. The final reason is that I made the trip alone; God did not join me, and when you’ve gotten used to having him around, you kind of get to notice his absence.

Still, the trip was fairly uneventful and gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with FM radio, which I’d pretty much abandoned more than ten years ago. Ignoring the quality of the music that was played, which seems to fall into the camps of either playing nothing new or mostly trash, the listening experience itself was pretty shabby. There was an incredible amount of noise in the cab of the truck. The engine was loud. The wind noise was loud. And the truck itself would rattle and shake and be none too quiet about it.

When I did get to my destination and did get a chance to talk with God again, I made these complaints to him; I asked him why they couldn’t engineer a truck to give as pleasant and quiet a ride as any car, or if they could, was the rental company just too cheap to pay for good quality? He told me that he wanted to get me thinking in another direction. God told me that for just a minute he was going to play Devil’s advocate. Then he went on to ask if I wasn’t maybe looking at it all wrong. He asked me if I knew the statistics on the number of deaths caused every year by people falling asleep while driving. I allowed as that they were high. He pointed out that I was making the drive after having slept several hours short of my normal the night before. He then asked me if, because of that, I had ever felt the least bit like I was going to nod off durning the trip. Thinking back, I had to admit I hadn’t. Had I ever felt less than alert, which could have been fatal given that I was driving a vehicle very, very different from what I was used to? Well,no. So wasn’t it possible that the reason the truck was as noisy and unwieldy as it was, was to keep me aware that I was driving a big honking truck and to keep me alert and alive? Perhaps they weren’t being cheap at all and were actually just looking out for my best interests.

It was certainly possible. But it does seem awfully suspicious that it was probably also the cheapest thing they could do.

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