It’s a good thing I wasn’t counting on a career in radio, because I sound like a drunk hillbilly through a mic. Apparently, I also sound like a drunk hillbilly when I’m searching for food and being eavesdropped on by the clerk at Speedway, whether or not I’m speaking through a mic.
Speedway is certainly not the best place to be searching for sustenance beyond fuel, lottery tickets or coffee after midnight, but we’ve all been there. Not Speedway, specifically, but tired, hungry, don’t-care-what-it-is-as-long-as-it-doesn’t-eat-me-first, staring down the roller rack in trepidation and hoping for the best.
The sensible person who lives in your head says, “Oh no, friend, that’s a very bad idea, get a carton of milk and wait until you’re somewhere you can eat a hot meal that doesn’t consist of burnt plastic and lamb hooves.”
The hungry, really over-it person who lives next door to the sensible person in your head, and is infinitely louder, screams, “Give me something warm to eat and a bunk and do it rightfreakinnow.”
The noisy neighbor was screaming while I searched in vain for something other than a chihuahua-sized hot dog to satiate my hunger and complete my bad choices for the day. I may or may not have been talking to myself louder than usual when I commented that I didn’t understand what the fascination was with giant hot dogs, and once again remarked to myself (maybe out loud, maybe not), “Why the hell can’t I just buy a regular hot dog that isn’t the size of a baby arm? Why must they all be so huge and turgid?”
(I’ve written about this phenomenon before. For some reason, it is impossible to buy a regular-size hot dog from a roller rack in a truck stop or travel center in the United States of America anymore. Try it. I dare you. I don’t think I’ve seen anything less than a jumbo-dog since 2007. It’s crazy. OK, maybe I’m crazy, but seriously, if you find a place that sells regular ol’ Oscar Meyer Wieners from a roller rack, hit me up.)
I decided to forgo the gargantuan hot dog, opting instead for beef jerky fused to a very dubious “cheese” substance that should come with a “volcanic heartburn” alert, but again, screaming over-it person was in charge, sensible person was trying to remember where the Zantac was when the clerk startled me by actually engaging on a personal level beyond my out-loud, rhetorical questioning of large, turgid hot dog availability, and making the comment, “I’ve heard of hot dogs having a lot of things in them, but never turd-filled. That’s a new one to me.”
It took me about two clicks to catch up and realize drunk hillbilly voice had once again put me in the precarious position of sounding like a lunatic, raving to myself about turd-filled hot dogs in the Speedway at midnight. I made two mental notes while she handed me the change. 1) To enunciate better when I’m talking to myself out loud. 2) Never again return to this place.
Sometimes, communication is hard.