I pulled off the Jersey Turnpike this morning to do a little work at one of those junk-food rest stops. Average Joes obviously don’t choose the grub at these roadside joints, but in a way they do by buying and wolfing down the Roy Rogers fried chicken and Nedicks hot dogs in mass quantities. You can buy a salad or a chicken wrap or a smoothie — they have those alternatives — but everyone’s scarfing down the chemicals and the batter and the burgers.

All you have to do is sit in one of these places for a half-hour or so and study the customers — the way they look and dress and shuffle around. These folks are bored, lazy, unhealthy. Not paragons of vim and vigor. I know, I know — I should tend to my own issues and leave well enough alone. But I can’t help myself. I look at these guys and go “sheeesh.”

The photo below is of a man named John Robinson, who worked as a sideshow freak fat man in travelling circuses in the 1880s or 1890s. There are two or three guys sitting around in my roadside rest stop right now who are roughly the same size.

There are next to no electrical outlets near the seating areas, and I’m suspecting that the guys who designed these nightmare malls have deliberately hidden the electrical outlets to keep guys like me from plugging in. Update: Five minutes ago a guy who works here (uniform , baseball hat) noticed my distress, came over and showed me an outlet hidden behind a table of Starbucks condiments. Thanks, man — much appreciated.

The late John Robinson