The Last Real Gas Station

En route to my family's lake house in upstate NY, we stopped to fill up the Honda at a gas station somewhere in Pennsylvania. It seemed like any other gas station until I went into the restroom: the ladies' was only one room, but there were two toilets together in said room. No stall, no dividing wall, nothing. Just two toilets side by side. Pilot and co-pilot? Not understanding the set-up there - it seems like you'd have to be pretty good friends to make use of that. It can't just be the woman behind you in line, it can't!Turns out, I had stumbled into the Last Real Gas Station in America. Or at least the type you can't find in Northern Virginia. I took a closer look around, and indeed, this wasn't the prissy, computerized-sandwich-making, expresso-brewing, convenience mart gas stations we've grown so accustomed to. No, it was just like the grimy gas stations of yore. The cashier stood behind bullet-proof glass. Meanwhile a sullen, long-haired man sat in the corner playing video poker right next to a display of Penthouse magazines and other publications of that ilk, which were unsullied by any brown paper covers.

A few steps over from the display of rude bumper stickers, three solitary hot dogs spun round and round on one of those metal hot dog warmers. Their presence seemed almost like an afterthought, or a purely decorative nod - just to continue the grand Gas Station Hot Dog tradition. How long those particular hot dogs had spun there, I couldn't say. The dawn of time, perhaps, or the late 90s at least?

"Who would buy one of THOSE?" I thought, just in time to look over and see my dad carefully putting mustard on said Gas Station Hot Dog.