Edited by Michael Streissguth. Da Capo Press, 352 pages, $26.00
When I was eight or so, I asked my stepfather what the difference was between Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Cash. As far as I could tell, they could be the same guy -- or related, anyway. "Big," my stepfather said, choosing, as usual, not to elaborate.
We shouldn't want to watch Temptation Island, Fox's hypersexed answer to reality TV. The concept -- let's see if a bunch of alluring singles in an exotic locale can bust up a few established, if tenuous, relationships -- is offensive; the couples claiming to test their love, shallow and vain.
Truckers operate outside all sorts of boundaries. They know the whole country better than most of us know our own towns. They pick up hitchhikers. They speak in code. And a good part of America is enthralled. Kids in sedans throw desperate air-horn gestures out backseat windows in search of one reciprocating honk. We eat at truck stops and diners because if truckers eat there, the food must be good. (Never mind that at an actual truck stop, romanticism gives way to hamloaf, coin-op showers, and condom vending machines.)