Our 3,000 mile mark hit on a sunny morning as we passed signs signalling the Tuskegee University. We approached mile 3,001 and the dashboard situation became a blinking, noisy annoyance. The put-your-seatbelt-on-immediately pang wouldn’t cease unless we changed the oil.
We found ourselves a nice little single nozzle gas station and approached the young girl who seemed to be honing her multitasking skills with playing solo checkers, keeping an ear for the door, and watching the news. #Talent. Confusion, serious confusion ensued when inquiring about a garage for the car. “Who’s garage?” Checker asked, Mom answered, “anyone’s garage. We need an oil change.” “Who will change your oil in their garage?” Checker continued. “We have to get our oil changed; is there a garage or auto body shop around here?” This was becoming a joke, so I migrated to the sunlight and feigned ignorance. Mom emerged soon after with directions,
Questionable, yet oddly interesting. LeGo!
The behemoth, also known as the Wal-Mart of Middle America and/or Da Dirty South, was beckoning us from what seemed to be a mile long parking lot. We asked the first attendant we saw and she, too, was confused by our inquiry. I wondered, are we in the Twilight Zone or…? The attendant walked us to the auto area and told us to pick out any oil we wanted, what was the problem?
“Wait, you want us to change our own oil?” Mom asked; at this point I started a wad of bubblegum and felt at home in Wal-Mizzy. Similar to Britney Spears stopping barefoot at any gas station circa 2007.
“Well yeah, what else?” The attendant asked honestly.
“We’re from Jersey. We just learned how to pump our own gas. I mean what are we supposed to do with this oil? Can’t we go somewhere and pay someone?” Mom was beseeching, it was an emotional scene.
The attendant told us to make a left at the light, go three blocks and make a right near the post office, then go over the bump in the road and make a left at the roundabout, right at the tall pillar and we should find it. Friggin yeah right. Through true law of attraction, we found Bubba Joe & His Auto Woes (LOL mom’s got copyright on that!) and entered their lair.
At this point, y’all should know better. Naturally, there was no diner, cafe, or restaurant nearby that we could pass the time while we waited for Bubba to finish. He was a lovely man and wanted to get to the car when he could, IE. tomorrow. Not gonna work my good man – we need this bad boy back today. He found our speed to be alarming, but did as we asked. Along the four block Main St. we stumbled upon a McDonald’s and got him and his crew some grub — as a bit of a fire up the ass if you will. We hung out until it was done, paid, expressed much gratitude and drove away.
Not too far however, we’d been so distracted we hadn’t even noticed we were actually in Tuskegee, not just near it! Historical Tuskegee. So we took a self-guided tour through the airport, felt at one with the airmen, and bounced outta that joint. The point is, don’t go looking for good bagels, a Bodega, or a even an auto shop in places you shouldn’t!