I find I lack a certain discipline on the road. The brunt, of which, is paid for by my digestive system...well, and my liver.
I respect people who can sit in a diner in a town they’ve never seen, and order a salad. I’m not that guy.
Those who have traveled with me can vouch for the fact that I’ll often say: “surprise me,” or “bring me your favorite thing, and don’t tell me what it is.”
When I would visit a friend of mine in Brussels, he would say “let’s go have some sharpeners and get unstuck.” (Beers until we’re drunk).
There was a little place near his apartment that only sat a few people. We would cram in there at the end of a busy day working on his yearbook, and the waiter would come by. “What’ll you have?”
“I’ll have YOUR favorite beer,” I would order.
“Wellllll... what do you like? Do you like so....”
“Bring me YOUR favorite beer,” I would interrupt, and tap the space on the table in front of me for dramatic effect.
“Two of those,” my friend Anthony would follow up.
Next round: “bring me your SECOND favorite beer.”
Well, by the time we got through his fourth favorite beer, we were unstuck.
It’s the same with food. I just can’t get excited about a salad when the Dairy Barn in Wathena, KS has a tenderloin too big to fit in my truck. Or if I’m driving by In-A-Tub on my way out of town.
Or when I had dinner in Rock Port with WC Farmer at the Dusty Skillet, or some such name. I HAD to order the “Rock Port” sandwich. It was, and I’m NOT making this up, a bar-b-que beef brisket sandwich, but instead of a bun, they used TWO grilled cheese sandwiches.
Who thinks of this stuff?
So as I drive along the miles, there is a bit too much gas station food, beef jerky, cigars, and whatever else ends up in the vehicle.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned about spice drops: unless you have them often, and stick to a particular brand, there is some retraining involved each and every time you have them.
“Do I like the white ones or the yellow ones best? What about red, is that cherry or cinnamon?” It’s not easy. And by the time you’ve got it figured out, the bag is empty.
Anyone who is a frequent Casey's General Store rainbow sprinkle donut consumer can agree, they really are getting cheap on the sprinkles. I’ve been eating them for YEARS, and there was a day when the whole top was covered with them. Not anymore.
And it’s not one store. This came from the suits at corporate. A memo was sent.
I complained recently. “Excuse me,” I said the the cashier as I showed her the sad excuse for a rainbow sprinkle donut in my hand. “I’ve noticed that the SPI on these donuts continues to drop dramatically, and I think you should let someone know that I’ve noticed.”
“SPI?” she asked.
“Sprinkles per inch. Look at this. There are four!”
Her hands were tied. It’s the suits, I tell you.
I’m home now.
And now comes the recovery from the road. Hydrate. Eat less. Don’t indulge. Eat more vegetables.
Tomorrow I may hit the gym and sauna out some of these toxins. I may try to run a bit, or get on the bike.
I would love to say “next time, I’ll be more careful about what I eat and try to exercise every day.” I won’t. I’m not even going to try to trick myself into believing it for a minute.
If I’m on the road, and I stop for gas, or bathroom break, and the gas station has that nasty fried stuff over in the warmer, I’m GOING to go check it out. I’ll probably get a corn dog or a burrito. I will.
As I write this, I flash back to Mrs. Burns’ Greek Mythology class at Lamar High School. Or was that Mrs. Satterly? Either way, I’m starting to relate to Prometheus. And, with that, it’s now night and my body will heal...until the next Kooky’s Road Trip when my liver will be eaten by vultures again.