Sunday morning's trip was a 12-hour drive through New Mexico and West Texas, which, like most NASCAR races, is seemingly endless, visually unstimulating and excruciatingly boring.
Thankfully, since we've graduated from the van-and-trailer days (and travel by bus now), most of those 12 hours are spent asleep, but more often than not (and especially for those of us who are early risers) those last few hours are spent staring at an endless stretch of highway and lots of nothing, while we all try to keep from crapping our pants as we hold in long overdue morning dumps (because you can't poop in a tour bus). It's a test of will, patience and sphincteral integrity.
If the situation becomes dire, a truck stop visit will be made, which I've found undoubtedly leads to unintentional comedy. This morning's stop was a Pilot/Wendy's in Van Horn, Texas and for this week's column, I thought I should probably report on what I saw, heard, smelled during that stop.
1) Adult Male, 50-something, Wearing A Metallic Red Rawlings Cool-Flo Baseball Helmet
As evidenced by the picture above, this helmet not only doubled as a fashion accessory, but as a motorcycle helmet suitable for dome coverage of a man barreling down the 10 on a Honda Gold Wing. There's something a bit startling about waking up, wiping the the sleep out of your eyes, adjusting to the midday sun, and having the first thing you see be a grown man walking around in a baseball helmet, but hey...it's a truck stop in Van Horn.
Then, when you're not even really prepared to engage in conversation with anyone, let alone a man that walks around in a baseball helmet, he strikes up a conversation and asks you if the Angels hat you're wearing is an A's hat, and if you think the Twins that finished the season 34 games out of first place are "gonna make it this year," even though the season is over, the playoffs started Friday, and the Twins finished with the second worst record in baseball.
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3) Epic Trucker Flatulence
Once seated, I was treated to the glorious sounds of trucker butt unleashing what sounded like the world's worst brass band warming up. I heard a tuba solo, dueling bugles, and what sounded like a trombonist clearing his spit valves. It's amazing what slamming 5-Hour Energys, Red Bulls, handfuls of trucker speed, solely fast food, and a two-pack-a-day Marlboro Red habit can do to a man's GI tract.
Stay tuned for more tales from the road...