Have you ever been in a Maverik convenience store? It’s a lot like a 7-11 or a Conoco or a Chevron, but woven into the most wonderful cocoon of weird ad copy.
Cashiers are “Adventure Guides.” Ringing up someone’s purchase is a quest on par with setting out for Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Instead of “getting a refill on a Diet Pepsi,” you shoot it down your gullet with an elephant rifle. Buying a bag of chips is like bringing down an entire pride of lions with a bag full of throwing stars. Getting the Adventure Guides to give you the key to the restroom is every bit as harrowing as getting caught in a snare, then accidentally gnawing the wrong foot off as you set yourself free.
But I was in Maverik because I was craving a hot dog. I’m not sure how the Maverik ad writers have decided to refer to a hot dog purchase, but it’s probably along the lines of riding two galloping gorillas through an exploding minefield with one foot perched on each of their backs as marauding reptiles try to discharge venom into your vulnerable eyeballs.
I wanted one. Oh…I wanted one.
The craving unlike any other
Hot dogs are pretty gross. I know it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. And even though I like fine, fancy hot dogs, sometimes I want a rubbery, gray, bumpy hot dog that’s been sitting on the rollers in a convenience store.
This was such a day. On days like this, I would brave anything for a hot dog.
I swung through the front door on a vine, letting go just before I flew into the mouth of the T-Rex. A tribe of pygmies were huddled around the Ho-Hos, but I did a quick back flip and kicked their blow guns. The darts from their blow guns sedated an army of hungry yetis, but before the pygmies could harvest the yeti meat, a chasm opened up between them and their prey.
They howled their way down into the abyss. I did not mourn their passing.
I jumped my motorcycle over the rack of Cosmopolitans and Maxims and grabbed an empty 44 oz cup. I filled it with Diet Pepsi, but the force of the fountain nearly knocked me down. But finally it was done and I made it over to the wiener stand.
There they were. Hot dogs. They glistened and turned like rubbery larva. Josh…you came. Release us!
This part is true
I opened up the hot dog oven and set my drink down. I knocked my cup off the edge of the counter and it fell to the ground and spilled. I leaned down quickly and that’s when I heard the sound:
But I hadn’t been blinded by venom. No, I had knelt down and pressed my forehead into the bank of hot dog rollers. It didn’t really burn me, but it did make a noise and it scared the crap out of me. I went to the bathroom and checked my head in the mirror, but there was no scar–just a big ugly stain in the shape of a cylinder.
Back in semi-reality
The inside of the store was quiet when I left the restroom. The Adventure guides had all been slaughtered. “You were too beautiful for this world,” I told each of them, before performing super-mystical rites that sent them peacefully into the next world.
I made it to the parking lot and grabbed the leg of a helicopter that was taking off. I waved my hot dog at the pilot and he did a bunch of loops.
Then we got into a horrible battle with an entire squadron of pterodactyls. I ate the hot dog really fast as I plummeted to Earth.
How I survived this adventure, I’ll never know. I must have some greater purpose to fulfill, and more hot dogs to eat.
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