Not to be confused with the short-lived 1970’s TV show of the same name; Benson, Arizona, has what I believe to be the ONLY Dairy Queen in the nation that is still a cash-only establishment. After double-checking with the DQ attendant on duty that I was still in 2008, and that I hadn’t accidentally been time-warped to some point in history where credit and debit technology hadn’t been invented yet; I quickly decided to make the Wendy’s down the street my dinner-supplier (normally Wendy’s would’ve been my first choice, but I’d just eaten there for lunch, and I don’t like to repeat fastfood joints in the same day if I can avoid it). As it turns out, customer service at the Wendy’s in Benson (Arizona), has really gone downhill since Dave Thomas pulled up to the next drive-thru window in the sky. The apathetic individual working the window managed to mess up my order on three different occasions in a span of about five and a half minutes. If he could’ve seen my interaction, Dave would’ve been flipping over in his grave like a Wendy’s all-beef patty is flipped on an industrial-sized electric grill.
Poor food service aside, it was another superior day on my Quest for the West (catchy, eh? I just came up with that). Covered 724 miles in a little less than 11 hours — unfortunately, most of the journey was in the half of Texas that hasn’t been given the gift of cell service yet, so I didn’t have the bonus of the random phone calls and texts that have brightened my days thus far, but I survived nonetheless.
The hands-down high point of the day was an interaction I witnessed from afar, somewhere in Bufu, Texas (population: 3 gas stations and an Arby’s), where a tourist in a minivan stopped a local resident to ask him for directions. The twist? The helpful local resident just so happened to be mounted on his white and tan horse at the time of the incident. That’s right, this particular country gentleman (fully clad in the kind of exclusively denim-and-leather outfit that would’ve made The Dukes of Hazard say, “maybe try not to be such a stereotype, ok?”) just happened to be spending his Sunday afternoon strolling around town on his calico horse, dispensing directions and fashion advice to anyone in need. Only in Texas, boys and girls, only in Texas.
Before I sign off for the night and focus on more important things (Sportscenter and Super Troopers, in that order), let me just add this special bonus message for all my friends in the trucking industry: Semi-Truck Drivers, YOU DO NOT NEED TO PASS ONE ANOTHER ON A TWO-LANE HIGHWAY!!! I don’t know if it’s some giant point of pride in the semi-trucking industry when your rig can pass someone else’s, but when I have my cruise control set at 88mph (just fast enough to activate the flux capacitor in case I get hit by a bolt of lightning), then have to slam on the brakes because you and your truck buddy felt the need to have a slow-motion drag race, it makes me hate Al Gore for inventing the wheel. I don’t know if truckers get paid by the hour, or the mile, or the number of flannel shirts they own, but whatever the system is, I’ll double it if you guys can just please stay out of the fast lane when I’m around. Ok? Ok.
Tomorrow’s the last leg of my journey, and I’m not sure if I’ll have internet access when I arrive, but if I do, you can expect a full update on everything from how awesome my new place is to how awesome the weather in California is. You’re excited, I can tell.