Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Road to Whataburger

I have this idea to write today's On the Road without ever going anywhere.

I was talking to an old woman at the grocery store and she told me that it is not safe to go hitch hiking anymore.

"You'd probably get raped or killed by one of those serial killers." She deadpans to me.

"Either that or nobody would ever stop for you."

I nodded my head to her and agreed.

"You'd just die of thirst out in the middle of the desert with your thumb up in the air." She added.

I guess she is right. You can't go on the road anymore. Anyway that's been done before. Plus think about all those serial killers. Jack never had to face anything like that.

I figure the only experiences left in America go something like this…


My alarm clock is blaring at 12:45 p.m.

I need to get to work by 2:30. Not a terribly difficult task, if the city of Tempe wasn't fucking with me.

The Tempe City Council altered bus routes and discontinued bus lines near me. Now I have to walk to a bus stop that's a quarter mile away from my house.

When I get there I stand around waiting.

The internet says the bus should be here. The bus book distributed by the city of Tempe says it won't be here for another 20 minutes. I try my cell phone for the automated bus info, but I am placed on hold.

On the Road.

I decide to ditch the bus stop and start walking to Whataburger.

It's good walking weather. Late January and the sun is out. The sun makes it a warm day, but there is enough of a breeze to keep me from sweating into my underwear.

There's a nice working class vibe here at my favorite Whataburger. All of the fast food workers are "lifers." They don't wash their aprons. They toss the burgers with more onions and lettuce than is necessary.

Most of the workers are Mexicans. But at Whataburger you also get young mothers. I wonder why these young mothers went and got jobs. I guess their food stamps ran out.

I check out the girls because I've always liked skinny moms. I think skinny moms must be genetically programmed to have kids because they slim down so quick from their baby weight.

Even though the Whataburger girls are skinny you can see how late nights and single parenthood are having an effect on them. Babies never go to sleep when you want them to. The girls don't have time to wear makeup anymore, so you can see the dark circles burrowing below their eye brows.

I dig in my pockets to look for change. All I need is 6 dollars and I can get a burger, fries, and "all you can drink" soda at Whataburger.

My Whataburger has the greatest soda fountain in the Valley of the Sun. It can take 2 minutes to fill up a 32 ounce soda. When I press down on the lever to top my pop off the fizz spills over the side of the cup. I take a big whiff and smell all the carbon dioxide in the air.

I text my friends Krystal and Candy and tell them I am tired of work. I tell them since I am late for work I am taking the day off.

At my work if you are six minutes late you get docked a quarter of an hour's pay. At my work if you are six minutes late you are in as much trouble as you would be if you'd called in sick. Six minutes late? You might as well call in.

I find some cash and order my meal. Then I call in sick six minutes late.

I text Candy and Krystal. I tell them that I am eating fries and burgers, and I think we should get stuffed on fast food, and buy a few 12 packs, and head back to my place and get drunk.

They agree.

Candy and Krystal show up all smiles.

I used to want to fuck Candy. But Candy just had a baby and she looks like she might hold on to the baby weight. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion that the only reason she agreed to meet me at Whataburger was because she loves fast food as much as I do.

I order the girls some food with the remaining dollars on my debit card.

"I am trying to figure a way out to get us beer." I tell them.

Krystal ain't had a job for a few weeks. But she is flush with cash she says. She offers to buy us beer on the way back.

"We will stop by the gas station." She says. "They have cheep 12 packs for 7.99."

I tell Kristal that I have an idea and the idea has something to do with us having sex in the mop closet.

Kristal lets off a big guffaw of a laugh. Food spills out of her mouth and she wipes the lettuce and onions up in a paper napkin.

"What the fuck is a mop closet?" She asks.

I look up from my burger at her and try to decide if I think she is being serious.

"A mop closet is a closet with a mop in it." I tell her.

"And we should have sex in it." I finish.

The girls giggle at me and tell me I am the craziest mother fucker that they know.

"But I have a feeling that won't get me laid in a mop closet." I tell them.

When Candy gets up to go to the bathroom Crystal tells me, "If Candy gets drunk she might fuck you."

"Then we should get her home and get her drunk as fast as possible." I tell Kristal.

Kristal agrees.

I should tell you that I wrote all this down a lot after it happened. I should also tell you that I write better in the shower. If you were in the shower with me when I wrote this you might understand a little better some of the things I am talking about.

I forgot to mention my attorney in this story.

My attorney is a sociopath who likes to beat stray animals to death with two liter pop bottles.

My attorney is always asking me to go to Van Buren with him to go hooker spotting.

Hooker spotting is one of our favorite games.

I spotted Kristal working one night after my attorney ran over a stray kitten with 4x4. The cat wasn't dead, but it wasn't moving either. So my attorney got out of the Jeep to take a look at it.

The cat is pissed and hissing at him.

My attorney decides he needs to get something out the Jeep in order to prod the sick animal off the road.

"The damn thing has rabies or something." My attorney complains.

"Is that why you need to the 2 liter?" I ask sarcastically.

"You know, you really are obtuse. You know that?" My attorney chides me.

I hate when my attorney uses big words on me. I think my attorney thinks I am stupid or something.

"Is that a fat joke?" I ask. "Because I want to know if that is some kind of fat joke." I tell him. "Like I'm all more than 90 degrees or something."

"I forgot you took Algebra II in high school." My attorney says.

"Just give me the fucking 2 liter!" He snorts grabbing for the 2 liter.

I hand the 2 liter over to him and watch as my attorney holds the 2 liter high over his head with two hands and brings the bottle down over the stray cat.

At the last second the cat jumps up and takes off for the sidewalk. The 2 liter explodes in front of my attorney in a splash of foam.

I laugh at my attorney as he walks back to the Jeep wiping his hands on his dress slacks.

"Had enough fun yet?" I ask him.

"Almost." Came his laconic reply.

My attorney and I climb back into his Jeep. He guns the engine and we head home over the Mill Ave. Bridge.
**Who can afford to travel in a recession? Maybe I can! I hope to make a trip out to Cali with some Detroit. Live blogging event of course!**

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