Spring Break 2016: “Go on a Road Trip”
An account of my extended stay at Buc-ee’s, America’s heart of darkness.
By Mikala Everett, Texas State University
Photography by Madelynne Scales, Texas State University
I discovered a lot about myself over the course of the six straight hours I spent alone in a Bucc-ee’s—and I regret all of it.
I reached my peak awkward quota within the first thirty minutes and I broke something. I broke something! Then I walked away like nothing happened.
That unidentified broken object in Bucc-ee’s and I have a lot in common. Spending six hours with just my unfiltered thoughts broke my mind. I found myself doing and thinking things that I would never have done before:
I stared at a wall of nuts for 20 minutes and counted how many bags there were—1,172. Technically toasted corn is not a nut though, so Bucc-ee’s needs to get it together.
I eavesdropped on a man’s phone conversation while at the majestic wall of nuts.
The most interesting bit of his conversation—“No, really, I swear I didn’t do anything illegal.”
I watched a gaggle of sorority girls squawk and take photos with a Bucc-ee the Beaver statue and I came to the conclusion that they were clones because they literally looked like the same person.
I almost bought a cookbook.
I realized that if a zombie apocalypse ever broke out, Bucc-ee’s is obviously the place to turn first. The only downside would be that someone could make all the gas explode but, you know, it’s whatever.
I started my period and considered smearing blood everywhere in a fit of rage. I blame that thought completely on the estrogen and the gunshot-like cramps ricocheting through my uterus.
I sat on a toilet for two of the six hours watching Naruto on my phone, terrified that I would somehow catch herpes through my clothing because I have a very basic understanding of how diseases work.
I tried to make something out of the toilet tissue but that sadly ended in a ball of crumpled dreams.
I had to leave the bathroom because my foot magically flew off of the patterned tile and into the porcelain throne drenching my socks with toilet water. It was the highlight of my day.
I seriously considered running down the main aisle wearing a cape made of toilet tissue yelling, “I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.”
I sang along to various songs out loud to various degrees of horrified stares.
At one point I realized that I was severely hungry but only had $3.78 to my name. It looked like the only answer to my problems was to either prostitute myself for a bag of Cheetos or become consumed by my hunger. So, I bought a bag of peach rings, ate them and made myself sick. I make great decisions.
As I was buying the peach rings and leaving the cash register, I said, “Thank you.” The gracious cashier replied, “Thank you.” I replied, “You too,” and proceeded to plunge into a pit of despair.
I sat down and drew the Buc-ee’s logo and realized that the original design is horrendous. I perfected it, and can now call myself a true artist.
I went to the parking lot to have a staring contest with my car. I lost.
I contemplated driving my car into the Bucc-ee’s because it would make it a much more authentic road trip. I don’t think my insurance would have covered that.
I played license plate bingo and punch buggy by myself. I ended up punching myself harder than expected and an internal argument ensued.
My road trip in Bucc-ee’s allowed me to arrive at the realization that I am incapable of basic human interaction. If we aren’t talking about gender roles, racial inequality, Naruto or food, we ain’t got shit to talk about.