Midnight Train to Georgia...
I hinted about this story a couple of weeks ago-- here it is. I swear to God that it is entirely true-- I wouldn't believe it if I heard it either, but it really did happen:
We were on the road towards home after my cousin's wedding in Gastonia, NC. It was a late afternoon wedding, followed by a lengthy reception so we didn't get on the road til after dark. A few hours later we found ourselves in Duncan, NC. We pulled into a truck stop around midnight to refill the tank and empty our bladders! The first thing we noticed was that there was a room in the truck stop that was full of arcade games. Joel had a bag of quarters that he was itching to spend so we figured we'd break up the long drive by playing a few games. The first game that sparked some interest was one of those boxes that's full of prizes beneath a big claw. Joel said he always played them, but never won a prize. He was determined that this would be the night for his victory. We all played the game for a while- but none of us won a prize. I should mention the prizes: mostly a variety of Barbie dolls, lipsticks and some bracelets in boxes labeled "male enhancers".
After we gave up on that game, I spotted a huge machine called the "Dance, Dance, Dance" machine. For $1 you could stand on this platform that would light up in the spots where you were supposed to step to learn a dance. I really wanted to give it a try, but Joel pointed out all of the burly truckers that were hanging around. "You'll get killed if you try to dance here", he warned. I listened.
We headed into the store part of the gas station and we were blasted with the music: "I'm Coming Out" was the first song we heard, followed by "It's Raining Men". I joked to Joel that we were in a gay truck stop! We had a good laugh over that. Then we found their video section- they were selling VHS tapes for $2 each. We were thumbing through the videos (while tapping our feet to Abba's "Dancing Queen") and we suddenly recognized a theme. Every one of these videos were gay! Yentl, Victor/Victoria, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, To Wong Foo, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Trick, Making Love, etc. Joel and I had to get a shopping cart!
When we left the "truck stop", we saw a sign that said "Easy access to the Highway". We followed the signs and they lead us to an abandoned trailer park. Lord only knows what was going on back there! We made a quick U-turn and got back onto the highway.
My only regret was that I didn't buy an extra copy of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and that I turned down the chance to dance on the "Dance, Dance, Dance" machine!