One dollar and eighty-three cents...
That's all I had for the rest of the week after I paid for tolls and coffee.
Today had robbed me of my good humor and left me with an overwhelming desire to know why people from Newark, NJ* should be allowed to breed, let alone do business. All I had left to restore my sagging spirits was one dollar and eighty-three cents.
My baser instincts kicked in, and I started thinking about food. For a junk food aficionado such as myself, I was sure I could come up with something to change this foul mood. Then it hit me, Speedway! Last time I filled up, I saw the sign, "Two Hot Dogs For 99 Cents!" and "Any Size Fountain Drink 69 cents!". It would mean taking the long way home, but I was ready for some "me" time.
Once I got to the store I went "hard-core", and got the 44 oz. drink. Diet Coke with a hint of Regular Coke and a dash of Sprite to liven it up, I felt like I was 11 again making a “suicide big gulp”. Then I started assembling the hot dogs; onions, relish, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, everything that was free and in little packets except for the hot sauce and non-dairy creamer. I grabbed a handful of napkins and headed for the car.
When I finally bit into the dogs, it was like magic. I know, I know, you're saying, "What magic? These are the cheapest, unhealthiest kind of food that was ever produced from the naughty bits of a pig!". But you'd be wrong, dead wrong! Somehow, the most magic and delicious pair of hot dogs ever put on a hot roller had ended up in my possession. It was like the holy grail of divine pork products had been discovered, and I was the one that the gods had smiled on. The casing was firm, but not too chewy, and there was real flavor. It was better than a kosher beef dog, and almost approaching the beauty and subtlety of a bratwurst. The bun was warm and fresh, with a sweetness that reminded me of Hawaiian bread. If I had paid six dollars at a ball park for these, I would not have felt cheated, they were that good. I headed along the back roads listening to "All Things Considered" and my finally turning on The Talking Heads, Linkin Park and some vintage U2.
As I turned up the road to my house, I popped a mint to freshen my breath and hide the evidence of a pre-dinner snack. Mrs. Cog does not approve of such revelry so close to her fabulous meals. I realized two things at this point, it doesn't take much to make a bad day better, and 44 ounces of pop is way too much to drink at one time. I ran for the door....
Thanks for reading,
*If you’re from Newark and are offended by this, you must be a transplant. People from New Jersey know how to take a joke…
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine