by Matthew Sanborn Smith
"No, see this is a truck stop. Lit'rally," said Frank. He scratched his big belly, beneath the flannel.
Ted scrunched up his face from up in the driver's seat. "What do you mean, 'literally?'"
"I mean, you come here, we stop your truck."
"What'd you do, take out the spark plugs or something?"
"No, sir, this is a diesel, like every other truck," Frank said. He spat on the cracked, grey tarmac.
"How do I get it going again?"
"Welp, there's a truck start, bout five miles down the interstate."
"A truck start."
"You're fucking kidding me."
"Look, Frank,"Ted said, "I'm not a regular driver, I know. But I'm not stupid. The whole reason I'm on this haul is for my sociology thesis. I'm not some rube you can bullshit."
Ted got on his cellphone, to call for a tow. No service.
"No service," Ted said, holding his phone up.
"Gotta phone I could use?"
"No, sir," the two of them said together. This explained everything. Great service, low prices, not one other truck at the stop. Ted was caught in some hillbilly Twilight Zone episode.
"What do most people do in this situation?"
"They walk down to the truck start and call for a tow."
Ted considered for a second or two. "Wait. Wouldn't the tow truck stall once it got here?"
"Yep. Lotta folks don't get that right away. You are a college boy."