This Post Has Been Sanitized for Your Protection

This Post Has Been Sanitized for Your Protection

At breakfast in Morehead, Kentucky I spent most of my time eavesdropping on a man talking about his work. His job was to pull around a Jack Daniel’s Airstream party trailer. It is basically a rolling bar. Not a bad gig, I’d say. When you pull up, throw open the doors and turn up the tunes I bet everyone wants to be your friend.

He gave me a bandana and wished me safe travels.

Later in the morning, he passed me on the highway with a honk and a wave.

Ready to roll.

There were two things on my agenda for the day, neither of which were in Morehead and so it was time to get a move on. Whatever else was going to happen along the way was left to chance.

While passing by Lexington, I made a quick stop to get a look at the giant Dixie Cup water tower. Their representation of the cup was impressive. I could totally picture chewing the rounded lip and unrolling it.

Moving around the perimeter of the city, it dawned on me that I could be anywhere. Congestion, chain stores, fast food, car dealers… same shit, different town. Granted I didn’t explore to prove this theory wrong.

Something about this idea struck me as sad. Our suburban existence is sanitized. You take your food pellet and move down the line.

And I do understand that it helps people to have experiences that live up to a certain quality or standard. I get it. When I pull up to a Holiday Inn Express anywhere I pretty much know what I’m in for (I’m lookin’ at you, pancake machine). There is comfort in that. But on the flip side, it means that I’m walking around like a robot.

Not only is there so much sameness but there is just so much retail, period. It’s really overwhelming when you step back and look at it.

Ugh. This post… it’s full of “brand” pictures, isn’t it? See what I mean?!

Buy more, consume more, feel less. This is the rabbit hole I’d like to claw my way out of.

2 Replies to “This Post Has Been Sanitized for Your Protection”

  1. Several years ago my brother told me about a trip that one of his co-workers took, to England. Apparently the guy was thrilled to be able to eat at McDonald’s… IN ENGLAND! It turned out to be the highlight of his across-the-pond experience.

    I try to resist the temptation to criticize this, to criticize anyone for where and how they find their pleasures: What right have I? Who am I to judge? Yet I can’t help but feel sorry for that guy, even now, years later. I can’t help but believe that he missed something, a lot—maybe the point of travel.

  2. I’ve made the same observation. I’m old enough to remember a time before Universal Retail Presence — uniformity of suburban life which has destroyed the character and charm of local neighborhoods. Now we’ve never far from a McDonalds, KFC or crappy franchise store. Travelling around the country can be depressing when you see the same thing everywhere. Why bother leaving home?

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