“Thank you for eating at Buc-ee’s. Hope you enjoyed your time here.”
The clerk handed us our bag of hot lunch made in under three minutes. Her bored stare chilled me to my bones. We hurried to our car. As our famished selves dug into the bag, we decided to ignore the fact we were eating processed meat, on a road trip, in the middle of Texas, in our car, in a gas station parking lot. Signs of STOP were all around us.
I expected to unwrap a somewhat healthy option of a chicken ceasar wrap. What I found instead was microwaved chicken blanketed in a burnt flour tortilla. The chicken tasted of bologna and cheese whiz. There was no evidence of lettuce or ceasar dressing. It felt so wrong. I began to feed my hungry pug slices of chicken. Oh my poor doggy, she didn’t deserve what was coming for her. None of us deserved what was coming for us. My beloved unwrapped a mystery chopped beef sandwich with an anonymous sauce. Halfway through eating his lunch, he paused with a flushed look of nausea, mumbled, and discarded the remains from his hand. A look of disgust took over us all.
His mumbles turned into coherent words. “Oh god, I had to stop because I quickly realized the level of grossness which I just was consuming.” I looked over at his sweaty palms. My own temperature began to soar. “I feel ill.” It was all I could muster to say during this moment of immense regret.
We decided to do only one thing: drive. We drove as fast as we could out of there. The further we were from Buc-ee’s, the safer. A lump began to form in my throat. I could hear my pug’s stomach cry from gas pains over the engine of the car. My beloved started to note major indigestion. I myself was battling my own ailment of trying to keep the unidentified chicken meat down. We had no intentions of leaving with any of their overpriced clothing or fragrance candles, but it turned out we did leave with our Buc-ee’s souvenir: