For whatever reason, I get my best ideas while in the shower or on the toilet. Regarding this latter, you might be tempted to think that I assume the same pose as Rodin's The Thinker. But you'd be wrong. That's my dad. Just so you know, I didn't happen upon any other revelations in the shower this morning, though I politely asked a German cockroach to remain on the wall opposite the shower head until after I had finished. He compromised by heading up to the ceiling.
While I seem to do a lot of thinking in the bathroom, I tend to reminisce while eating. I'm not sure why this is; though I love food, I don't have a ton of memories about spectacular dining experiences. This is not to say that I haven't had memorable meals, but given that I'll eat saltines and mustard just as readily as I'll eat something small, sculpted and expensive from a five star hotel, I guess I'm not so much a gourmet as I am a bipedal carp.
But anyway, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon from the Perk (the rarely-open cafe in my office building), and for whatever reason, it made me think of Dairy Queen, which is another name for a Texas Stop Sign, except for when the Dairy Queen is in another state, in which case it's just another place to poop.
I don't eat at Dairy Queens very often. Usually, it's only on the way home from something, and the ones I've eaten at seem to be deliberately decorated with straws all over the floor and pee on their toilet seats. One of these stops occurred in '98 or '99, when I was on my way from some corny fraternity thing at Texas Tech. I was riding with my friends John Lea, Matt Singer, and Royce Carvallo, and John insisted on having a blizzard. We were tired and hungover, and frankly, a Dairy Queen blizzard is not a good solution to a hangover, especially if you are consistently lactose intolerant, which I am, with regimental frequency. A dairy shit brewed with a beer shit seems like a recipe for Armageddon, but whatever--I had to sit in the back seat, and my rights and opinions were null and void.
So we pulled into some Dairy Queen (who, if she marries Burger King, presumably gives birth to Carl's Jr., according to the joke, which isn't all that funny, unless you are this guy I went to high school with, and then it's a riot). Of course the floor was covered in pink straws and napkins and dirt clods and auto salvage, and I was relieved to find that the toilet seat was covered in a thousand layers of dried pee. The thing about a peed-on toilet seat is that you really can't do anything about it (like say, for example, lifting it), and thus the shimmery lacquer of crystalized urine gets increasingly thicker. When in Rome, I guess.
At least I washed my hands.
When I re-entered the "dining room," which actually had a lot more in common with a bus station than you'd want to imagine, I found John in one of those irritable poses--arms crossed, bedhead standing tall, mouth pursed, steam misting from his ears. The thing about John is that his volume and vulgarity level is directly proportional to his BAC and the number of hours he has been up; needless to say, both of these were big numbers, and what I found was that he and the other guys were the only ones in line, and none of the people behind the counter were helping them.
As I perused the menu, I heard John grumbling to the right of me, and finally he lost it.
"JESUS!!!! WHOSE DICK DO I HAVE TO SUCK TO GET A GODDAMN BLIZZARD AROUND HERE?"
I ended up waiting in the car.