Realistically speaking, if you're at a truck stop at all, you should just instinctively know that it comes with at least some threat of imminent death. Aside from the occasional gallon of gas priced well below the national average, nothing good ever happens at a truck stop. It's the place where hot serial killers in your area go to meet vulnerable victims like you, and it's also a decent place to buy a fountain soda, but nothing more.
That said, crazed lunatics are the sharks of truck stops. Sure, encountering one is going to be a total "buy a lottery ticket, it's your lucky day" kind of situation as far as the odds go, but that shit does happen. We were able to steer clear of this phenomenon for the majority of the trip. It wasn't until someone insisted that we stop at any Arby's (attached to a truck stop, naturally) on the way back to Los Angeles.
I don't remember who it was, but if I did, I bet they'd tell you they sincerely miss the Big Montana.
The problem started in the bathroom, just like so many of life's calamities do. I wasn't privy to all the details, so I'll stick to what I know, which is that my aforementioned friend Jeff walked into the bathroom of an Arby's and emerged with a new friend in tow. This friend was apparently cleaning the bathroom (not an employee) and somehow flipped that conversation starter into somehow learning that everyone in our group was a comic. So, as one does in that situation if you're lonely and insane, he proceeded to stand over our table peppering us with "jokes" ("I'd forget my head if I didn't have a neck" is an actual example) that sometimes dovetailed nicely into rants about Jesus and full-on racism. Then he'd say, "OK," and start walking away, only to come back with more material. Maria secretly recorded audio, which you can hear on that podcast I mentioned at the beginning of this column. We were also lucky enough to capture video of us being pursued all the way out of the parking lot.
You'll have to be Facebook friends with Cat to see it, though.
He didn't just want to tell us jokes, he also wanted a ride, presumably to his murder shed and/or compound.
Thankfully, we escaped without losing a single member of the group to a grisly murder. So far. And that's about as good as a trip can conceivably get these days. I can't wait to do it again.
For more from Adam, follow him on Twitter, listen to him talk about grisly crime scene photos on the Dead Things Podcast (you're the best, Albuquerque!), or come see him tell jokes in Santa Monica this Tuesday. Or do all of those things maybe! Go nuts!
And then be sure to check out 5 Examples of Irresponsible Drinking Gone Terribly Awry and 15 Secret Business Plans of Famous Companies Revealed.