Sunday, October 5, 2014


lumper (plural lumpers)
1.  Extra labor hired by a trucking company to assist a driver and/or customer unloading or loading a truck.

Brigid, at Home on The Range,

writes about, 

  really crappy jobs we had when we were young”.

Like many folks, I had many,  including “pearl diving”, i.e., dishwasher. The one that sticks in the memory banks was a day job unloading a truck.

After the Army, I enrolled in college. To get a few extra bucks, I would sit along side Brighton Blvd in Denver with my cardboard “lumper sign”. Truckers, who wanted their trailers loaded, or unloaded, would stop. The job would be negotiated.

One Sunday I followed a trucker to a rail car whose contents needed to be transferred to the trucker’s trailer. After few hours of working in eighty degree weather, the cargo (boxed electric fans) was transferred.  When I asked to be paid, the trucker refused.

“You just worked for free”, he said with a smirk. Then he raised his shirt to show a hand gun in the waist band of his trousers. “What are you going to do about it”?

What I did was throat punched him, kicked him in the crotch, and took his little p.o.s. .25 revolver away from him. After opening the action, put it on the pavement and stomped it into two pieces. Then we renegotiated the payment, with an additional generous bonus. Once I had my money, I took all his keys, tossed them in the weeds, and rode off on my Yamaha.

After that, I found other things to do besides lumping. Me, on a motorcycle alongside Brighton Blvd., and him driving by in an 18 wheeler didn’t seem like a good match up. I often wondered how many times that trucker pulled that stunt. He seemed very confident. Not smart of him pulling that stunt with me close in front of him.

Please don’t think I wasn’t afraid, because I was. What I had learned, up to that point, is, don’t talk, act. A fair fight begins with you employing a sucker punch, and ends with you walking away unharmed.

Reminds me of a movie scene.

This may have appeared in one of Murphy’s Law Saturday Man Movies.

Over the years I’ve worked many jobs but none, so to speak, under the gun. (Yeah, bad joke).


  1. My first one was shoveling s**t... Literally... For a Veterinarian. At least you were close enough to teach that asshat a lesson! And I'm betting he didn't try that again! :-)

    1. Did that job as a kid. Knuckleheads like that trucker may, or may not, learn from experience. Still feel a glow of satisfaction when I think about it.

  2. I found that to be a most awesome story! Street justice.

    1. Late 1960's. That would get me in jail today. Foolish of me, but in those days I was an unseasoned fool (yuk, yuk).