Nothing is more dissatisfying than scarfing down fast food in a gas station parking lot. Every time I do this, it feels like hitting a new low. Truth is, it’s more about time and hunger than anything, but still. It feels sad, pathetic and gross.
I was in the middle of a four hour drive when I needed to stop for fuel and dinner. I missed my exit.
The following stop advertised both food and gas, so I took that instead. But upon leaving the off-ramp, I learned the nearest restaurant wasn’t for another 5 miles in the opposite direction.
I could’ve picked any of the next available exits, but I chose the one that lied to me.
I sucked it up and backtracked. I ordered my food and asked for a sweetened tea. It came in a ridiculously large styrofoam cup that was difficult to hold. And again, I was lied to. It wasn’t sweetened tea. It was tea with four packets of undissolved sugar thrown in. It was terrible. I hated that cup. The oversized, useless lie of a cup.
That didn’t stop me from trying to make the most of things. I took a sip, but the tea ran down my hand and onto my shirt. One of my nice shirts!
Maybe it was my fault for trying to juggle a BUCKET of tea while driving, but I was very irritated. I tried wiping the tea off my shirt and wetting it with my own saliva, but it was too dark to tell if it was clean. My salty, greasy fingers didn’t help.
I felt disgusting.
It was all the tea’s fault too! Every time I reached for that obnoxiously large cup, I wanted to crush it out of fury.
At this point, I would normally get back on the freeway, but it was still 5 miles back. That stupid backtracking exit! And guess what? There wasn’t an eastbound on-ramp. Freaking ridiculous!
Between my greasy fingers, my stained shirt, the backtracking and the BARREL of sugar-tea that left no room for my coffee, I’d had just about enough. In an act of anger, I took the westbound ramp and turned around at the next exit. You know what that exit was? The one I missed the first time!
There it was, everything I needed 20 MINUTES AGO in one location, and now it was too late. I had to get back on the eastbound lanes.
Heading back to the freeway, I made a left in the closest drive. The closest drive turned out to be a narrow, winding path up a hill with no room to maneuver until you finally arrived at the Bob Evans on top. I had no choice but to go the distance.
All I desperately wanted was to go home, but I couldn’t even accomplish that. My aggravation reached its tipping point, and I broke.
I whipped the car around in the Bob Evans parking lot, screamed and shook the steering wheel for a good 30 seconds. The whole time, I could feel the ABSURDLY GIANT styrofoam cup cackling at me.
The temptation to crush it was burning now. The only thing stopping me was a vision of sugar-tea massacred on my car’s interior. I couldn’t let that happen. Instead, in my fury, I crushed the fast food bag.
I crumpled it between my fists and tore it up.
Perhaps it would have been more satisfying, had I not forgotten the fries were still in there. They flew into the passenger seat, my lap and under my feet.
Just one more thing that could possibly go wrong on what is supposed to be the simplest pit stop.
I kept crushing it, though. I had to get the fury out of my system.
When it mostly subsided, I realized I should throw away the trash.
I picked up the fries, one by one, and tossed them into a waste bin by the Bob Evans entrance. I tossed the shredded bag too. The only thing that remained was the styrofoam cup.
I held it gingerly, so as to contain my rage. But when I was only a couple feet from the trash, I did, indeed, crush the cup with my fist. I threw it into the basket vengefully and breathed a sigh of relief.
It wasn’t as satisfactory as I was hoping, and it left a lot of tea on my forearm.
Luckily, I was able to get into Bob Evans and wash up. This even gave me a chance to properly clean my shirt! Things were looking up!
I got on the freeway and headed home.
Of course, I never truly got over the aggravation. I was 30 minutes behind schedule now, and the wet spot on my shirt kept irritating my skin.
I guess we can’t win them all.