Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Hazmat Hunt

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this post by saying that my lovely and loyal reader, Sheila, has made me regret writing about The Game.

I never quite realized how often I mention the concept of games in my writing, and Sheila has certainly made me aware of this fact and in doing so, making me lose The Game:

There are more occasions in which she has made me lose The Game, but I'll stop there.  Needless to say, it is with great hesitancy that I write about another game today.

The game of which I speak happens to be one that I invented.  It came to me, like so many other things, while driving.

I happened to be behind one of those big scary tanker trucks that carry hazardous materials.  It was moving slowly, so I decided to pass it.

It is just waiting to explode.
Thinking back to basically every action movie that involves a car chase scene, I thought about these trucks and their propensity to explode.

After this random thought crossed my mind, I then thought, man, it would really suck if this truck came into my lane, causing me to die in a fiery explosion.

And then, inexplicably, that’s exactly how that shit went down.

Well, minus the fiery explosion part.

But without so much as a turn signal, the truck quickly began merging into my lane.

I honked my horn and hit my brakes, but I can only attribute my safety to the slamming of the brakes, as massive trucks are much too large and important to hear the faint honk of an itty-bitty car, desperately begging for its life. 

It’s understandable. 

I mean, I don’t hear the pleas and screams of the ants that I step on as I go for my morning jog*.

*I am sorry for tricking you and making you think that I maintain some form of daily physical fitness.  I never go on jogs.  And if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be in the morning.  Sometimes I jog to the beer store before they close.  But again – not in the morning.

Anyway, I had narrowly escaped my explosive death and was now behind the truck that had almost been the cause.

I imagine that this is what eventually happens to all of those trucks.

I must note that, even at the time, I thought about how weird it was that before the truck had moved into my lane, I had thought about how much it would suck if he actually did such a thing.  At first, I thought that it was someone up there who was looking out for me and putting those thoughts into my head as a premonition so that I would be vigilantly aware of the event as it happened.

But then I realized that I probably think about things like that all the time.

Especially now that I am in the habit of regularly writing, my mind is constantly racing and looking for things that are worth writing about, or developing scenes or plot-lines for some of my fiction work.

So the thought man, it would really suck if this truck came into my lane, causing me to die in a fiery explosion probably had entered my subconscious numerous times.  But it was only when it actually almost came to fruition that the initial thought really struck me as odd and felt like a harbinger.

But none of that is the point of this blog post. 

The point of this blog post is that I developed a new, totally awesome game, just seconds after nearly dying.

It is called the Hazmat Hunt.

Remember when you went on long road trips when you were a kid, and you tried to spot a license plate from all fifty states?

Well now you can try to spot all of the hazardous materials which are transported along our roadways on a daily basis!

You see, while I was enraged and driving behind the truck that had nearly killed me, I was looking for that sticker that says, “How’s my driving?”  I had my phone poised and ready so that I could call the number and tell them exactly how bad it was.

However, there was no phone number to be found.

The only information I could find was a sticker, which signified which hazardous material would be the cause of me exploding into a fine mist of blood and guts.

This particular truck was carrying 1791, which happens to be Hypochlorite solution.

And since then, I have also spotted:

1075 Petroleum gases, liquefied or Liquefied petroleum gas
2582 Ferric chloride, solution
2218 Acrylic acid, stabilized
1993 Compound, tree or weed killing, liquid (flammable)
2187 Carbon dioxide, refrigerated liquid
1075 Butane

And of course, 1203 (gasoline).  I see this one a lot.

I must warn you, once you start playing this game, you will really start noticing how many of these trucks are on the road.  It is a kind of awakening.  And once you are awakened, you can’t un-notice them.

You might spot one of these trucks a half-mile up the road and find yourself speeding to catch up to it so that you can see what type of dangerous-thing-you-don’t-quite-understand they are transporting so that you can add it to your Hazmat Hunt list.

You might also begin to grow disappointed when you see how many of them are 1203s (gasoline). 


If you stick with it, you will find tons of new chemicals that could blow up at any second.  Just be vigilant, and perhaps you will eventually spot them all.

And maybe, just maybe, you will live to tell about it.

-Youngman Brown

Check out the following resource to put a name to the hazardous material that almost blew you up:


  1. What is more dangerous than driving near these trucks on the Blue Route, 95, or 76? Being distracted enough to try to read the hazard numbers and dare I say jot them down or take a picture for further investigation! Obviously I love this game and shall report my progress on twitter. Oh, you didn't ask me to do that!? Too started the game now you live with its evolution. :)

  2. Seeing as how I've spotted at 50 plates I feel a pressing urge to start playing this. Be prepared for my twitter updates as well!

  3. LOL, you have started a dangerous game indeed! There are going to be tons of drivers out there not only looking for these signs but now using their cell phones to capture pictures, report lousy driving and in turn become lousy drivers themselves hahaha

  4. Eff yeah to inventing games! I thought I was the only adult who did that. I am totally playing this one.

  5. Road games are the best! Glad you didn't die in a fiery crash. :D

  6. Every time I pass the nuclear reservation, you're going to get a tweet from me that just says, "BINGO!"

  7. If it makes you feel any better, we all pretty much lost The Game just by you pointing Shelia's comments out.

    In any case, awesome game! We should start a club, kind of like a high octane bird-watching club.

  8. I probably shouldn't be involved in games where chemicals and/or possible explosions are involved...but I think I like this one.

    Yep. I do.

    1. Of course you do! You are an explosive kind of woman.

      And that was meant in a good way, if you took it any other way.

  9. This is an awesome idea. Even if I didn't want to play it (which I do), I wouldn't be able to get this post out of my mind everytime I spot one of the chemical codes. Awesome idea! Also, I have the same premonitions when I see drivers. I always expect the worse out of them, and surely enough, they never fail to carry out my thoughts.

    1. Haha good, I am glad I got in your head.

      And yes, the other drivers are always the worst.

  10. ah man, you made me think about this accident that happened not too long ago, not too far away from where I live. I've always wondered what the numbers meant, I thought it was just a scale of deadliness, now I've gotta spot em all!

  11. *curties* Thank you handsome for the shout out. As for the game(OVER haha)I'm in too. I'm so bored on the commute home this will give me something to do other than cussing other drivers. Just like the blinkers (CHIZ), its what I will be thinking about now.

    *sheepishly* And yes, you lose.


    1. If you are commenting, I always lose The Game.

  12. This is a test. Sometimes when I post my photo shows up and sometimes it doesn't. Damn this computer or maybe its a user problem....

  13. I wonder sometimes if *I* am going to be that exploding tanker, whenever someone flicks a cigarette out of their car in front of me.

    In the course of a half second, I wonder if I have a leaky tank, and see myself going up in a ball of flames....

  14. Sheila is hilarious with The Game! Hahaha!!

    But OMG I do that all the bloody time with hazmat trucks!! Also? If a truck is carrying like, long metal rigging poles or stacks of lumber all I can think about is one of them coming loose, flying through my windshield and stabbing my in the face.

    (I really fucking need help, don't I?)

    1. No you don't. I need to show you a photo on my old phone. In the right lane is a pickup truck with a HUGEEEEEE stack of tires, and in the left lane is a truck with all kinds of metal and other crap hanging out of it.... I thought that I was going to die.

  15. First off, I'm so glad that you didn't explode!! LOL Secondly, this game is making me very paranoid. I'm going back into my bubble now where all big trucks are filled with cotton candy and other soft, squishy things :)

    1. Thanks for being happy that I didn't explode. Our cars need to form an alliance.

      TheLovebug and Dewey will fight the evil huge dangerous trucks that terrorize our roads.

  16. OMG, now I've got something else to fear... I hate being anywhere near these kind of trucks on the GS Parkway or NJ Turnpike, they scare the crap out of me already. Now, I'm going to be trying to classify what kind of shiz is going to explode all over the place if it crashes.

    1. Haha fear not, I am pretty sure they are safe!

  17. I once almost crashed while trying to write down some guys 'how bad is my driving' number.
    Great new game...but there are a lot of things I think I'd prefer not to find out are transported by road.

    1. I know what you mean. I passed a truck carrying horses one morning and they were so packed that I felt sorry for them. I pulled up along side the truck to take down the name and phone number. Those sweet horses looked up when I rolled down my window and started talking to them. And yes I was driving the whole time but it was rush hour traffic and moving very slowly so I had the time to do this. Makes me sad all over again. :(

    2. Well good for you for trying!

  18. That is weird and intriguing all at once. 6-hour trek down interstate and major state road next week. I'm giddy with anticipation!

  19. Great, now I'm going to play this all the time. I hope I'm not still writing down the chemical number as it merges into my lane and sends my car into fiery death.

    "Oh, napalm," I say, as I burn uncontrollably. "The answer was NAPALM."

  20. I've surfed the net more than three hours today, and your blog was the coolest of all. Thanks a lot, it is really useful to me

  21. I will definitely be playing this new game when I'm on the road. Now I'll know all about what's going to kill me in a fiery ball of chemicals. Yay!

  22. I don't think they carry any hazardous material through my town because I haven't seen ANY in the last two days :(.

  23. I spend so much time on the road now, I am happy to play new games. I will start this one today. I will keep track of them through Twitter.


When you comment, I vibrate.