Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Did Everything Come Out Okay?

I’m back from PA hell. That’s “Production Assistant” hell, not Pennsylvania hell. Pennsylvania’s actually quite nice. I haven’t been there for years. But if the Amish like it, you know it’s good.

So, in lieu of anything else to post about, I thought that I would share a little bit more of the cross country trip that Tanya and I returned from about a month ago.

When you drive across the country, you get very familiar with certain aspects of freeway life. You learn which gas station chains have the best bathrooms. You learn that places that sell fireworks need gigantic billboards because, well, how else are you supposed to find fireworks? (As a rule, the billboard size is directly proportionate to the size of the fireworks stand; the ratio is 5:1, 5 feet of billboard for every 1 actual square foot of fireworks stand)

Truck stops and rest areas become very important on a cross country trip. There are a few similarities between the two. Both generally have a lot of trucks parked at them. Both have bathrooms. And both are crawling with prostitutes. But rest areas are much nicer to look at. I enjoy Yosemite Sam and bare breasted women, don’t get me wrong, but there is something a bit more serene about a rest area.

Nowadays rest areas aren’t the same rat infested, biohazards that they used to be when I was a kid. Some of them are downright pleasant. When I was young, rest areas were not much more than a port-a-potty housed in a wooden shed with a lovely view of the freeway and a smell that could make a river worm turn up its nose (river worms are used to treat sewage by the way. Vermicomposters will find that last joke funny at least).

Tanya and I stopped at a few rest areas on our trek. Not as many as you might think since we usually just popped into McDonalds when we needed to heed the call of nature. Rest areas don’t sell Double Quarter Pounders. But, like I said, we stopped at a few.

Most of them were your typical new concrete and block type places. Sturdy and clean…ish. Texas actually had some very nice rest areas. With tile mosaics adorning the walls inside. Places you could feel slightly classy pooping in.

But I saw something new in New Mexico. Here’s the rest area. Pretty normal.

It’s located near some kind of historical site, so there’s the obligatory plaque to make the spot seem more important than it actually is. This plaque does a nice job of that.

But there was one thing that set this particular rest area apart. This was on the outside of the rest area bathrooms.

Good for them! Hey, New Mexico cares about your rest area experience. And they make you feel regal by allowing you to refer to yourself in the survey as "we." Very classy.

Then I saw this and I knew that New Mexico really cares about your rest area experience.

Fun Fact: When I was a kid and we were at a rest area, I would stand out by the freeway and get semi trucks to honk as they sped by. Rest areas became much nosier places when I was in town.

The “kid me” would really bug the living hell out of the “adult me.”

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