Leadfoot Jessie and One Toothed Bandit

by Pappy

This story came from 'Leadfoot Jessie' himself, on his 80th birthday. At the time, I was 17 years old. 'Leadfoot Jessie' and 'One Tooth Bandit' were coarse, hard-living people. If you are going to be offended easily, then don't read this. If you read it and get offended....well, you stupid idiot, I warned you!

'Leadfoot Jessie' and his partner for life, 'One Toothed Bandit,' had been driving over the road for damn near 20 years together. Both had been in, and seen, and survived, the worst that life could throw at a person and two people in love. On the night of their 27th year, 'Leadfoot Jessie' received word about an urgent load that was available to someone headed west. The load paid more than normal and both 'Leadfoot' and 'One Tooth' could not understand why another trucker with a faster rig hadn't snapped up the load. Now being ones who had learned never to look a gift horse in the mouth, they signed the paperwork and backed under the load.

The old, used KWhooper they had purchased groaned and shook like an earthquake as 'Leadfoot' eased out on the clutch and got the load underway.

He said "Damnit, this load is heavy or we ain't got no wheels."

'One Tooth' shot back at him, "You idiot! You done left the trailer brakes on!"

'Leadfoot' made a quick check, but the brakes were off and he told 'One Tooth,' "Suddup! Or so help me they'll call ya 'NO TOOTH.'"

'One Tooth' grinned her one-toothed grin and squealed, "Oh, you'd like that wouldn't cha?" Then she cackled like a witch, "There'd be nuttin' in there ta hang ya dick on!"

They both laughed uproariously and 'Leadfoot' caught the last gear as they headed west on 'Route 66'.

The sun set and 'One Tooth' turned on the radio and started dialing around the AM stations hunting for a good signal from a Country Western station. It took a minute or so for the the old vacuum tubes to heat up enough to fry eggs on, and the old radio hissed and spat static and whined.


Finally, the whine gave way to Hank Williams singing "Honkey Tonk Blues," and 'One Tooth' said, "That man is sooo handsome I'd have his baby!"

'Leadfoot' torted back at her, "HAA! No you wouldn't cause he'd have nothin' ta do with you!"

The announcer on the radio said "Commin' right up! The Grand ol' Opry live and with no station interruption!" Another announcer came on and in the background could be heard a crowd of people talking and laughing. The new announcer gave a list of names to appear live on the Grand ol' Oprey.

One Tooth was amazed at the clarity of the signal, and said "Listen how that sounds, honey. Like we was there live with them!"

"Sounds like they was right here in the cab puttin' on a show special for us, don't it?" he said.

"Hey, lets you an' me pretend we're there watchin' the show in person," she added. "I'll get us a couple cokes out the cooler and some peanuts to put in 'em. We'll have us a good ole time. OK?"

"Sure, sure. Yeah that sounds fun!" he said.

As the show progressed, it became apparent that a pit stop was needed to relieve the two cups of coffee and the coke consumed earlier.

Frantically, the search began for a rest area.

"Damn, looks like I'm gonna have ta stop and piss on one o' them cactus out there," he said.

"Well, don't piss on the one I'm gonna squat behind," she blurted with a chuckle.


They bailed out of the cab and went about 10 yards off the highway. Leadfoot picked out a nice tall cactus and unzipping his jeans as he walked over to it said, "Sorry, I gotta show you this, Mrs. Cactus. If you see sumthin' you ain't never seen before you just throw rocks at it, OK? Now you just hold still."

From her squatting position behind another cactus 'One Tooth' shouted, "Will you shut up! I can't go over here with you tryin' to sweet talk a cactus over there!"

What happened next he isn't sure of.

He told me a bright and blinding light came around them. He said they felt sharp sticking pains in their necks and backs. Then they weren't able to feel anything. When they woke up both of them were sitting in the cab with no clothes on.

They noticed the trailer was gone but the tractor hadn't been moved, nor were there any tracks around that may indicate a tow truck took off with the load. He told me they just got dressed and turned around to head back east to the nearest town to make out a report or something. As they drove away they thought it would be better not to say a damn thing fearing people may think them crazy or something.

So they kept their mouths shut, never speaking of that night to anyone but each other.

Six weeks passed and a check from the government came in the mail for a thousand dollars.

He told me, quote: "That's the fuckin' craziest thing ever happened to me!" He paused, a tear welled in his eyes, then said "except for that crazy-assed, ugly woman of mine."

'Leadfoot' survived his wife for 15 years. She passed at the age of 79. He went to his ultimate destination at age 103.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

by Brett Aquila

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