Twelve Days Of Christmas
As many of you know, the idea of buying gifts for loved ones is a traumatic experience. It leaves us tense, irritable, exasperated, and exhausted. And that’s before we even set foot in the shopping mall. It’s no better shopping online, where there’s a million choices in every category. In ten minutes flat, the eyes glaze over, my hands start to shake, and her purse seals itself shut before I can steal another credit card.
My wife doesn’t enjoy shopping either, unless there’s a trendy lunch café on the schedule, but buying for me is the easiest chore on her list. She calls it the I-80 Truckstop Catalog, published in Walcott, Iowa. I call it the twelve days of Christmas.
She says the Twelve Days Of Christmas start on December 26th, and end on January 6th, at something called the Epiphany. I think that’s what’s written on a tombstone, but whatever it is, it marks the end of my happiness. Well, okay, maybe it’s not that serious, but 12 straight days of Amazon deliveries would put a smile on anybody’s face!
So here’s how it works. On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a chrome bugler swan hood ornament. It’s beautiful, of course, but I’m not telling the boss what we did to his Volvo! On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a pair of chrome-plated exhaust pipes. Unfortunately for us, our trucks are grass burners.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me an Eagle Eye Triple Dashcam, particularly well-suited for my Ram pickup, because the camera has a wide-angle feature that illuminates even the largest of Wichita flea markets. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a four-trumpet train horn. You know, the one that makes Lia Thomas jump in the pool, squealing like a little girl.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five sets of tire chains. Gazing upon them in their gaily wrapped canvas bags, my eyes are filled with tears as I recalled Rabbit Ears, Donner, Wolf Creek, and Snoqualmie. Now days, of course, with a line of 200 trucks waiting for the signs to drop, even someone willing to chain up would never get close enough before the spring thaw.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six gallons of Power Service, apparently convinced I’d be idling for days in the aforementioned line of waiting trucks.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven amber bumper lights, followed on the eighth day by an eight-piece chicken light repair kit. On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine matching Kinedyne load straps, which will disappear the minute I leave them on a loading dock.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ten chromium-plated hubcaps, and then on the eleventh day of Christmas added eleven packs of matching lugnut covers.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 romantic sleeper lights, which reminded both of us how we relied on true love and Espar bunk heaters to ward off the winter blues. Broke we were, back in those early years, but there’s good news on the financial front. As she left the Iowa 80 truck stop showroom, my wife assured me we still have blanks in the family checkbook. It can’t get no better than that!