Nicodemus (nicodemusrat) wrote,

Thanksgiving and the Amazing Wall of Beer

My wife drove down to stay with the relatives for the whole week of Thanksgiving. Having limited vacation days at my disposal, I drove down the night before Thanksgiving. In order to avoid the worst of the traffic, I left at 7:30pm. This technique (surprisingly) worked and the journey only took four hours. It's about three and a half with no traffic problems, so that's just fine.

On the long drive down I-5 it was just me. Oh, and the cat. Who felt the need to remind me that it was me and the cat who's over here in a box and really wants more dinner and a chance to stretch thank you very much about every half hour. Auto frames, it turns out, are surprisingly resonant at certain very high frequencies attainable only by the tuned siamese voicebox.

I pulled over at one of the anonymous freeway gas stations outside of some mid-sized town with a forgettable name like "Valburg Pass". I needed a stop at a restroom which, despite the moniker, was partially under construction and bitterly cold and therefore did not provide any rest whatsoever.

On the way out, I perused the selection of driver sustenance at the gas station's "Food Stop." I think that it would be more accurate to call it the "Booze and Maybe Some Jerky Stop." The back wall of the gas station's building was entirely glass-front cabinets filled with alcohol, most of it beer.

I wasn't aware that gas stations were so big in beer merchant circles. I don't drink so what do I know about this stuff? But there were dozens of varieties and quantities, up through actual kegs. Given their pricing strategies on, say, snack packs of chips-and-mostly-air, I would've figured that there had to be better deals elsewhere. Gas stations are rarely the discount price leaders of the retail community.

Yet this station obviously did major business or else they wouldn't devote an entire wall of their store to beer, which you can't (theoretically) drink while driving down I-5 anyway. Is it an impulse thing? Do you stop for some peanuts and bottled water, then see the amazing Wall of Beer and think "Oh, yeah, I totally was going to pick up a keg of Heinekin! I almost forgot!"

Mysteries of the interstate.

But the story, such as it is, ends with a wonderful Thanksgiving with much extended family, kids, and pets gathered around to enjoy a wonderful meal. With no beer.

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