Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't expect to find gasoline in Pikeville, NC ...

... so maybe you should just fill up your damn tank before driving through rural Cackalacky.

I went to to Kinston for a friend's wedding Saturday. I just assumed, spoiled city-slicker that I am, that whenever my tank neared empty there would be plenty of places to fill up. If I had taken the road more traveled (40E to 70E), that would have been the case, but at the bride's suggestion, and because I always like trying a new route to anywhere, I went 540 to 264 E, to 117 S. to 70E. That way goes through a lot of nowhere. It didn't help that I sort of forgot to pay attention to the gas gauge for a while, and when the needle approached E I realized I was in the middle of all that nowhere. Just after the little red light came on I reached an exit for Pikeville, NC.

I was a little disconcerted that the "Gas Next Exit" road sign had a large blank area where there should have been a gas station logo or two. As I couldn't conceive of a town with no gas station, my gas light was glowing and I had no real idea where the fuck I was or if there were any better choices of towns nearby, I took the exit anyway. Besides, unless the population of Pikeville were hungry zombies, I figured I'd be better off running out of gas there than along the highway.

Turns out there are two gas stations in Pikeville. One was closed. The other, the "Gas and Grab," was out of gas, leaving only grab, which I wasn't in the mood for. I went inside to ask if there was any fuel to be had in the vicinity, and it felt a little surreal, like a scene out of a movie. You know: overdressed city-type walks in on the local good ol' boys sitting around the store shooting the shit. Fortunately, they all had hearts of gold and we discovered in the end that deep-down inside we're all just people. Oh, and that I would find some gas a couple of miles down the road. I did.

The bride was lovely and we all lived happily ever after.

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