Traveling 1200 miles, you pretty much play Restroom Roulette, and we fared quite well up until now. Somewhere in Hickville, Florida, we struck out. We pulled up to a Mobil gas station, thinking since it was a national chain, we should be able to get decent service. The hubby got out and started pumping gas while the kiddos and I got out to use the restroom (for hopefully the very last time until we reach our destination). On the outside of the crooked door was a hand-painted sign saying, "No public restroom. Paying customers only." Apparently, if you're a paying customer, you become instant family and you're no longer considered the general public. We proceeded inside, hoping that they would clearly see that Pa was outside pumping gas so that we would be qualified to use the facilities. We stepped inside and were greeted by grunts from the gas station personnel, who were dressed in coordinating motorcycle gang outfits.
We looked around and found the door marked "Ladies" (wonder if they've ever seen a real lady in these parts. . . .). All 5 of us crammed inside the tiny bathroom (no way was I going to let Evan into the "gentlemen" bathroom by himself.) Once inside, I was greeted by vibrant colors that looked like someone had barfed a bottle of Pepto Bismol all over the walls. And the smell? It probably would have smelled better if someone had barfed. I told everyone to control their gag reflexes and use the bathroom as quickly as possible. I let all the kids go first and when it was finally my turn, I was greeted by the lovely sight of a vending machine, the contents of which I had hoped and prayed my children would never ask me about. Blessed be God, they hadn't taken notice of it because of the rust & dust covering the machine.
Whew, all finished, we headed toward the door when a rough looking fellow walked in from the repair shop with a rather large pitbull-looking dog who was not on a leash or restrained in any fashion. I tried to step between the dog and my children just as Evan caught sight of the mongrel, who was bigger than he is. He stepped up his pace and hurried out the door. The dog followed and I rushed everyone into the van, which was now waiting just outside the door, with my husband at the wheel.
He told me of his own adventure, during which Cooter had approached him and told him, "You got steam comin' from under yer hood. Why dontcha pop it and I'll take a look?" "No, thanks," my husband replied as he spied the repair shop sign which read, "Cash Only." You have to wonder about cash only establishments in the middle of nowhere, run by Hell's Angels, targeting out-of-state cars.
Thankfully, we made it out of there with empty bladders and a full tank of gas.