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Truck Stop

So decades ago, during my college years, I was planning to travel to an adjacent midwest state and spend Thanksgiving with the girl I was dating and her extended family.

They had left early that morning but, I was working retail at this time and wasn't able to leave until 6pm the day before Thanksgiving. Having never been to this particular small midwestern rural community, I was given a map and instructions that I would spend an hour or more on a rural state road once I left the Interstate system.

Now before I go on, I feel like I should share a point of information: I was told beforehand that I was going to meet a multitude of uncles that were each about 7ft tall and 300lbs each. Farm grown and the epitome of all that is masculinity. So being a short guy, I always battle a bit of Napoleon complex but, was certain I was going to make a good impression to all the big guys when I met them…. This will be important later when I am stripped of all of my masculinity.

So leaving at approximately 6pm, I headed on to my destination, knowing I had approximately 3hours ahead of me on the road. (If memory serves). Filling up before I left, I decided it would be best to buy a couple bottles of mountain dew, to keep myself alert while driving (I present this to the jury as mistake #1)

Cruising along I headed along the interstate blasting what was no doubt the current Green Day album and chugging Mountain Dew with reckless abandonment. Before I knew it, I had traveled for 90 min and I was heading to the State Road / Rural Highway system.

(Pausing for a moment… I wonder if many of you have seen the movie "Something about Mary". There is a plot device/ subplot in that movie that was used for much comedic value…. I found no humor in it… you will see why soon enough..)

So having been on the road for nearly 2 hours and knowing I was over half way to my ultimate destination (and subsequent evaluation by multiple people I didn't know) my bladder began to suggest that I stop for a moment and relinquish the Mountain Dew I had leased from the gas station.

Having not seen any particularly obvious signs of civilization in about 10min, I was happy to see a rest stop, on the side of the road. Though, it looked somewhat ill cared for / abandoned, I saw another vehicle parked there so assured myself that it was open and had working facilities.

Pulling my car into the rest stop, I saw the other vehicle was a 20yr old Ford Truck, with an approximate 12" lift on 40" tires (Not that I knew what that meant at the time of this story). Seeing no one in the truck, I assumed they too had had more Mountain Dew that their bladder could hold and also needed to make a quick pit stop.

So heading into this cinderblock restroom I noticed what I can only describe as a combination of the Marlboro man and Freddy Kreuger leaning against the wall opposite the urinals. Now being quite a bit younger and less world wise, I thought it odd that the gentleman was there but, figured he was waiting on someone who was using the facilities as well (I present this to the jury as mistake #2)

Passing by his as I walked in he muttered "How's it hanging?"

Now, I thought this was a poor turn of phrase for a bathroom but, still being somewhat unaware that this guy was apparently using rest stop code to begin some sexual ritual, I politely replied "Good" (I present this as mistake #3 to the jury) and continued to the closest urinal to the entrance (I was using proper male bathroom etiquette, thank you very much!)

So as I stood before the urinal and began to purge my bladder, I got that eerie feeling you get when someone is watching you, or possibly creeping up on you…

Thinking I was just being ridiculous and not wanting to have my head on a swivel (Which as all men know, you keep your head straight forward at the urinal) I first rejected the feeling to look over my shoulder but ultimately, couldn't get over the ominous feeling so I looked over my shoulder and Creepy Marlboro man had moved to standing nearly directly behind me and peering to get a healthy view of my business.

Now I want to stop the story right here…. I was actually raised to be a rather polite person, and very friendly to people I just meet. I feel like I need to point this out as even though I was moments away from what I was beginning to fear was going to be a fight similar to what Andy DuFresne had on his hands in the showers of Shawshank, the first words out of my mouth were……

"Can I help you?" I shouted (Mistake #4, he may have taken this as a promise, not an objection to my current situation)

"Let me see it!" he demanded.

"No!", I screamed as I quickly recovered all of my parts back into their standard placement.

<Now reader, I would like to tell you that as a strong and masculine man, I proceeded to physically fight this guy for his sexual assault / lewd behavior but, that wouldn't be honest and also wouldn't carry near the comedic value of what really happened next… not to mention he was approximately a foot taller than me and had about 50lbs on me.>

So running out of the bathroom yelling/screaming "Stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I ran to my car and quickly jumped in and tore out of that rest stop similar to how Charlie Daniels describes leaving the bar in "Uneasy Rider".. Mario Andretti would have been proud of my speed as I left.

Now this story is all but finished but, you are probably wondering why I mentioned in the beginning of this story about the uncles who were as big as hill giants…. Well, I was clearly not going to share this story of running out of the bathroom like a scared rabbit but, unfortunately in my haste to leave the bathroom I had not explained to my bladder that we needed to cut midstream…. so I showed at the family home and, as fate had it, nearly everyone came out to greet me. So, standing there with piss stains down my leg, I was forced to either lie and make up some story about how I had incontinence brought on by seasonal allergies or tell of my near sexual assault… So I told the truth… And enjoyed losing all hints of masculinity about 20 seconds into the weekend.

Hope you all enjoyed another McShea Misadventure.

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Indianapolis, IN, USA

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