Taking the job on the road is an impossibility for many. With a roster of graphic design clients and a zippy Apple laptop, I am one of few Wonka-golden-ticket holders who can work from anywhere — at least in theory.
Connectivity has been a breeze as we zipped around the Gulf of Mexico down to Corpus Christi and northward through a string of metro areas. I am working off of a Verizon MiFi box that pumps 4G internet to my computer at speeds rivaling my home connection.
Then we made it to Oklahoma City, and we took a left. The highway landscape instantly took a turn for the breathtakingly beautiful, and the stunning vistas of prairie, farmland, and fields brought with it a dearth of cell towers.
The past two days, I have been whittling away at my project list at the the only joint in Tucumcari, New Mexico that has a wifi connection. I am perched at the infamous chain that we love to hate and hate to love: McDonalds — also known as the Double Humps.
This particular franchise doubles as a Greyhound stop, which means that every few hours, a big silver bus deposits 40 or so hungry, tired, bathroom-longing passengers into my office space. The mob members vie for the use of the restaurant’s only 110 volt outlet to charge their cell phones, and I am the recipient of many stink-eyes as they discover my laptop cord is already occupying one of the wall plug’s two spaces.
At the present moment, a throng of 30 middle schoolers on their way to who-knows-where rolled off I-40 to devour a cornucopia of happy meals. The whirlwind of eating, giggling, ketchup flinging, and bathroom-joke telling has brought my productivity to a halt — hence this post I am typing instead.
But the most delightful aspect of working at the Double Humps has to be the joy of trying to design graphics next to a public restroom. I have seen a number of portly gentlemen, all around 60, enter said restroom with an urgent gait. An assortment of grunts and bodily tones invariably ensues. And then they emerge, give their waistlines a quick tug, and head for the cashier to order his food.
You may notice that I said nothing about hearing a running sink, a soap dispenser, or an electric hand dryer. You can draw whatever conclusion you like, but needless to say, I don’t greet any of my fellow Double Humps patrons with a warm handshake.
But my favorite aspect of working adjacent to the men’s and women’s rooms — and this may disclose a hint about my diabolical sense of humor — is the collision that inevitably ensues about once an hour. Most on their way to the restroom do so hurriedly, and most on the way out of the restroom have an imminent departure on their mind. A dangerous cocktail, the door flings outward, and wham — worlds collide.
Two morals to this little tale. One: working from the road is fantastic, but not without its challenges. Two: When entering or exiting public facilities, watch out for your noggin and the noggins of those around you.
My family is currently traveling around the USA in a 10 foot Shasta Compact travel trailer from 1969. We are currently camped in Tucumcari, New Mexico and headed toward Albuquerque. Keep it right here for tales from the journey, and please also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nothing keeps us motivated more than the encouragement of hearing from our readers, so please keep in touch by commenting below. Thanks!