Fill’er up

This is my rant about Southern gas stations east of the Mississippi.

If you happen to be traveling in rural Virginia with a young child or an adult of a certain age, you will need to map out your restroom stops in advance. First of all, don’t expect to find a clean restroom at every gas station. Your average locally-owned Get-N-Zip, Stop-N-Go or Mom&Pop will have a lot of things, but a public restroom is not one of them. You can get gasoline, kerosene, lottery tickets, sweet tea, weak coffee, breakfast biscuits, fried chicken, chewing tobacco, rolling papers, cigarettes, beef jerky, and big bottles of beer.
One gas station in my old neck of the woods has dozens of plastic-wrapped wigs, falls, and hairpieces hanging over the cashier’s counter. You have to wonder how many hair emergencies there can be in the 8 miles between Wicomico Church and Burgess. There are generally some men gathered around the door smoking, inside if the weather’s bad, or outside on a nice day. They always say hello and will usually hold the door for you. I usually try to avoid going inside, because I prefer not to smell like fried chicken and cigarette smoke.
At some gas stations, an attendant will hand you a key on a big stick and send you around the side of the building. Take my advice; do not go in there. I imagine that the people who work there get in the car and drive home at break time or have their own secret clean bathroom the customers don’t know about. Believe me, that bathroom has not been cleaned since desegregation.



  1. […] I was never a fan of marzipan, Zippy the pinhead, Ziploc bags, the Singer zipper foot, zipping my lip, unzipping my dress in the back or traveling on zip lines, and now, having to know my zip code delays me from filling my car with gas. […]


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