Line One
On the Lighter Side

Honk if you're . grossed out?

Love it or hate it, the image of the silhouetted “Mudflap Girl” has become synonymous with the trucking industry.

But now, one company is providing some equal opportunity – if you can call it that – to the male gender.

The collective minds at have created what they’re calling the “Mudflap Man.” Along with T-shirts, they have a 6-inch wide, 4-inch tall vinyl sticker featuring the silhouette of what appears to be a pudgy, middle-aged man sporting nothing but a beer gut and a baseball cap.

The sticker – which is only available in chrome and black, of course – costs about $4 plus shipping and handling.

Go ahead and laugh if you want, but don’t overlook the practical joke potential here.

Mudflap Man would look mighty nice stuck to the back of your buddy’s trailer – when he’s not looking, of course.


Getting your hops up

If Willie Nelson were in charge, we’re guessing the IRS would be disbanded, “potted houseplants” would take on a whole new meaning, and of course, biodiesel would flow through the fuel lines of every truck in the free world.

But there are a few people who might not be so thrilled about biofuels, the apple of environmentalists’ collective eye and a well-known pet project Nelson’s adopted as his own.

So, with the exception of big oil, who could possibly be opposed? Beer connoisseurs, that’s who.

According to The Financial Times, the high demand for biofuel crops – specifically, corn, soybeans and rapeseed – has caused many farmers in Europe to abandon production of grains such as barley and hops, which is driving up the prices of beer and whiskey both in the U.S. and abroad.

Although global demand for barley has risen 2 percent in 2007, the Financial Times reported, production in Germany and much of Europe is down nearly 10 percent from 2005 – causing analysts to predict a gradual but steady increase in the price of alcoholic beverages.

We know Willie’s a firm believer in biodiesel, but if we explain the situation to him, we’re thinking he might be able to negotiate a peace accord between the barley and corn growers at his next Farm Aid concert.


Because it sounds funny, that's why not

Here at Land Line, we hear all kinds of interesting first and last names from our members, who call in frequently to tell us tales from the road.

But it looks like the contest for strangest name has been canceled, now that a trucker from Las Cruces, NM, has been granted his legal name change.

The man – previously known by the almost ubiquitous name Justin Brady – will from this point forward be referred to as Ynot Bubba.

Bubba said he chose his new first name because he was no longer close with his adoptive parents, who named him Justin. As for his new last name, Bubba said it was a nickname his friends have been calling him for a long time.

If his new first name is any indication, we’re guessing Ynot also likes to think of himself as a pretty impulsive guy. But that kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it?


Bug off

In the United States, it’s not uncommon to hear of road closures caused by blizzards, mudslides and wrecks.

But in Taiwan, highway officials had to temporarily shut down an entire length of highway because of a bad case of the butterflies.

No, they weren’t nervous – although they maybe should’ve been, depending on how many drivers got torqued off about having to find a detour.

In this case, the 600-yard stretch of roadway literally had to be closed down so that millions of milkweed butterflies could safely migrate north.

Researchers said that once the butterflies reached their mating grounds, they would lay their eggs, and then die.

Judging by a lot of truck grilles here in the U.S., we’ve already figured out a way to streamline the process.


“On The Lighter Side” is written by Aaron Ladage, staff editor.
He may be reached at