Driving Semi Safe

The “Running of the Bulls” is a momentous event that takes place on I-29 every day from 3-6 p.m. During this time, it’s nothing but speed, steel and adrenaline. It is aggravating. It is unnecessarily risky considering what we do to save a minute and a half. It is a troubling display of the worst of human nature.

It is the only time I feel truly alive.

Now the “Running of the Bulls” does, in fact, require there to be bulls. Well, until the city of Fargo gets the stones to let me be mauled in the street by a raging animal, I’ll make do with the U.S. bull: the semi truck. They appear big and dangerous, when in reality they are just misunderstood. The semi truck that is, not the bull. The bull will kill and only regret that it can’t laugh.

There’s a lot of hate surrounding semi trucks. Some of it is just. They do slow down traffic and get in the way. The rest is just people taunting bulls, thinking they somehow have the authority over this hulking beast. I’d like to clear up a couple common misconceptions I see around semi trucks.

First off, your Toyota Camry, in this universe or any adjacent universes, cannot stand up to a semi. You can tailgate it to speed it up or assert your dominance or what have you. You can drive slowly in front of it like the road rage equivalent of a Chihuahua barking at a Doberman. You can even sit snugly in its blind spot to this gene pool. The fact of the matter is that it will flatten you like a cartoon character that was … well, hit by a semi.

Second is entrance ramp etiquette. You may notice semis are, on average, longer than a car. When you’re on the entrance ramp, it can complicate your timing a bit. You may choose to race the semi, kinda like taunting a bull with a cape. If you’ve got a nice breath after passing the semi, good job. You made it on safely, and your biggest concern is a bug cutting across three lanes of traffic with no signal and driving up the grass of its exit. If you happen to graze your back bumper ever so gingerly against the semi, I’ll let you in on a secret. There was actually a hidden option. You could’ve slowed down and gotten on BEHIND him.

So I hope you’ve learned a thing or two, but not three, about this magnificent creature. It just wishes to be left in peace to graze on its paved plains. The want to challenge it is tempting, but remember this is a wild animal. It’s likely more afraid of you than you are of it. Though it will definitely kill you.

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