This weekend James and I were driving between Washington and New York, and I concluded that every rest stop in the nation, even the ones in Marin County or the Upper West Side, are red-state territory. You cannot wait in line at Cinnabon or use the keepsake penny-flattening machine without tripping over a stack of Left Behind books or a box of remainder WWJD lanyards.
This red state sensibility extends to the other major obstacle at our nation’s rest stops – and I know you know this, nimble blue-state travelers: Fat People! Wading through the travelmart, blocking numerous urinals with a single stance, plodding along the Sbarro’s line like Depression-era Okies in a bizarro alternative history in which struggling family farms produce complex sugars and corn syrups instead of actual vegetables. When did poverty starting making people fat and not skinny? I don’t know the answer, but I bet the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan would.
But anyways, my point is that we were sitting at a table enjoying a slice of pizza as I saw a porky little ten year-old girl (swaddled in layers and layers of sweat-clothes) drop her 32 oz soda all over the beverage station. Human traffic, which was already slow due to the wheezing and puffing of the supersized herd, ground to a halt. Feeling particulary spiteful, I said to James, “That fat girl spilled her Coke.”
He added in a bastardly tone: “And now she’s mourning the loss of it.” I’m going to hell, but at least I’ll have company.