There are some benefits to working the night-shift as a tanker driver in the oil field. Its cooler in the summer, there’s less traffic on the road and… well… you get to sleep during the day while everyone else is working? I confess, It’s a short list. The drawbacks, however, can test one’s sanity. By now, I’m familiar with most of the places they send me. I drive a full size tanker and transport various types of water around the oil field. Most of the time this is not difficult, yet there are a few places that just creep me out. One of these places is called the Harvey Johnson. The following is a collection of events that is 100% true and accurate. Nothing has been made up.
Recently, dispatch sent me back to the Harvey Johnson during the writing of this post. I collected some pictures and an audio clip to add to your reading experience.
The first time I came to the Harvey Johnson place, I got out of the truck to unlock and open the gate as I do with many of these production facilities. The headlights contrasted the darkened fields around me. Unlike most other gates, when I swing open this fifteen foot gate, an eerie dual-pitch tone resonates (click here to listen) out into the blackened landscape. I pulled the truck through, stopped, and got out again to close the gate behind me. It’s much darker this time as the headlights are some sixty feet away and facing the other direction. The only light that remains comes from the dim red tail lights. As I close that gate, the same two toned noise rings out into the quiet fields again. As I walk that ominous distance back to the cab, I notice some bulls lying in the grass not too far away. It’s a good thing it’s dark and they can’t see that I’m wearing red from my neck to my feet. I don’t know much about bulls, but I seem to remember that they like to run, full speed toward moving red things. Now that I’m on this side of the gate, there is nothing in the way to stop them if such an impulse came over them to hit me like a bull-ing ball to a pin. To my comfort, they remained a sitting heap in the grass.
I continued down the lease road to the production facility and parked in front of the hook-up point. After some investigation, I found that I would need to go back between the six tanks and open the valve to one of the water tanks. I carefully look over the stairs. Spiders like to make their webs between the hand rails. I’ve seen the biggest of them there before. On this occasion the steps are clear. I do, however, notice a spider web hanging above between two of the tanks in the most direct way to the opening. It was high enough to where it shouldn’t have bothered me, but I couldn’t bring myself to walk under it so I went around
another way. There was a few inches of water in the containment area around the tanks that way and I tried to avoid stepping in it by walking on some of the larger pipes. It was dark so I had my hard hat light on, but by then I was creeped out by the place. Once everything was set for loading, I stood by the back of the truck and waited. I really dreaded the thought of going back past the spider web, over the water, to the darkest spot in the middle of the tanks, but that’s exactly what I would have to do. Still waiting for the load, I noticed something crawling between the truck and me. I didn’t have to look too closely to see that it was a
scorpion. How terrifying to think that thing, with its six creepy legs, two pincers and one long stinging tail, could crawl up my suit and I wouldn’t know it until it was close to my head. It was a fascinating creature for sure, but I discovered a new phobia to add to my arachnophobia and sober respect for heights.
Once full, I made that regretful trip back to the tank to close the valve, put away the hose, and filled out the necessary paperwork. I took the extra copy to the mailbox. I looked carefully because, I’ve seen spider legs hugging the door tab before. It’s clear this time.
I made my way back; passing the sleeping bulls to the eerie sounding gate. I hoped I would not have to return to the Harvey Johnson again for a long time when a message came from dispatch. “Pull one more load from the Harvey Johnson after you dispose,” it said. I would have to face the whole thing all over again, one last time.
Que the desperate terrified scream.
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Read the Six Creatures I Nearly Hit Every Night with my truck.
If you love animals and can’t stomach the idea of them being hurt, do not read the following. I love animals, but I love writing more…https://nutterweb.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/creatures-i-nearly-hit-every-night/