Can you guess where I was last week? At a prison in Texas. No, not to be incarcerated or to visit anyone. I was there delivering ten tons of cereal! Froot Loops to be precise. Thanks to my job as a long-distance truck driver, I have the opportunity to visit many places that I wouldn't otherwise. I've been to countless factories where I've seen many products being made, packaged, and sorted right in front of me! It's just like one of my favorite TV shows, "How It's Made" except that I am right there in the middle of it! I've been to a bottle factory where mountains of colorful glass shards sparkled in the sunlight, waiting to be recycled, while inside, newly blown bottles hurried down conveyor belts. I've watched sparks fly as metal workers ground down sharp edges on new aluminum frames at a window factory. I've seen the inside of Amazon sorting facilities where boxes containing customers' recent purchases traveled speedily all over warehouses on an efficient network of slides, belts and rollers. And at a paper mill I watched as forklifts carefully placed huge rolls of paper measuring 7 feet tall inside my truck. Only 12 rolls could fit in my 53-foot-long trailer but the load weighed 44 tons! It was quite a sight!
But I digress. Back to the prison. I arrived to see several large buildings nestled among an abundance of barbed wire. I stopped and checked in with a guard at the front gate who told me exactly where to take my truck laden with Froot Loops. Finding the building that I was directed to was easy, as it had been painted a bright pink! I pulled my truck in to the adjacent lot and checked in with guard number two who told me which dock to back my truck into. Having done that, I sat in my nicely air-conditioned truck and waited. The temperature in Texas that day was 98 degrees!
Soon a group of 6 prisoners dressed in bright white uniforms came out of a small building and trooped across the lot accompanied by yet another guard. After the guard gave instructions, the prisoners hopped on several forklifts and one by one, the pallets of cereal were unloaded from my truck. Before I knew it, my truck was empty and I headed back to the front gate. This time the guard did a thorough inspection, not just inside my trailer, but also inside my cab. He also used a large mirror to look under the entire truck to be sure I wasn't secretly toting any prisoners away. After the guard was satisfied that my truck was "clean", we wished each other a good day, and off I went to grab a load of medical supplies destined for a clinic in Kansas. Who knows where I'll be headed next week!