Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scientists still don't know ...

Behavioral scientists still can’t explain why thousands of drivers leave their homes and their jobs each year at the end of March to travel to Louisville.

Four years ago, a special team of scientists from Amsterdam began attending MATS to do a commissioned study on this phenomenon. For a bit of background, these internationally known scientists spent years doing similar studies, and prior to the MATS study they researched Indonesian turtles that swim thousands of miles to return to the beach where they hatched.

Land Line had the opportunity to interview these scientists on one of their first trips to Louisville and we’ve kept in touch with them ever since. They have now made four trips to the U.S. in March to attend MATS. Not only have they studied why drivers swarm in droves to this truck show, but they’ve studied how drivers somehow, mysteriously, have the ability to navigate the mazes set up for them by show management.

Last year, over a pork chop sandwich, they told us they were determined to discover if this ability was “developed in isolation or in a variety of contexts and constant inaction.”

“It could be a major breakthrough in understanding truck drivers,” said the team leader of the expedition.

Today, we learned their study had been deemed inconclusive and the funding discontinued.

However, this same team of scientists decided to return to MATS anyway and arrived early Tuesday in Louisville so they could make side trips to Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger bat factory. When we asked them why they were coming back, even though the study was over, they said they were not sure.

One didn’t want to miss the trucker’s annual Health Walk and was hoping to catch a glimpse of Tony Stewart or Kasey Kahne or some famous NASCAR driver. Another needed to pay his OOIDA dues, and said he heard that Todd and Beth Roccapriore were bringing a brand-new show truck to the Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Championship and didn’t want to miss out on that. Another scientist said he was craving German roasted nuts and had not yet scored one of those good one-inch-by-one-inch yardsticks.

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